MONITORING OF COLLEGE LABORATORY EMISSIONS FOR TRACE METAL CONTAMINATION

Nurton, Richard Lindsay (1996). MONITORING OF COLLEGE LABORATORY EMISSIONS FOR TRACE METAL CONTAMINATION. The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f776

Abstract

A general review of urban air pollution including regulations and guidelines, meteorological effects and monitoring of urban air quality, precedes a more detailed study of trace metals in the atmosphere. This study covers sources of trace metal pollution, harmful effects of high metal levels in the atmosphere and details of long­term surveys carried out by other air monitoring laboratories.

Air monitoring equipment was set up on the roof of the Science Block at the Llandaff site of CIHE to sample air emissions from laboratory fume cupboard ducting that ventilated from student chemical laboratories contained in the building. Particulate collection was achieved by capture on filters using high volume pumps for periods of time ranging from 24 hours to 2 weeks.

Analyses of the particulates collected for trace metal contamination were undertaken using atomic absorption spectrometry. This method required acid digestion of the filter and particulates combined, and the resultant solution analysed using specific element cathode lamps. The results obtained were compared with the quality standards or guidelines set out by EC directives and other relevant authorities. Methodology of sampling was adjusted accordingly to ensure its representation and accuracy of emissions from the laboratories.

This primary investigation posed various questions and suggested new directions for future projects. Recommendations are drawn from the results and subsequent discussion.

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