Environmental Health

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory

About the Laboratory

The Environmental Chemistry Laboratory at the Columbia Environmental Research Center, Missouri, develops and applies innovative methods of sampling and analysis to answer critical questions about the occurrence, distribution, fate and transport, and biological exposure of chemical in all environmental matrices (water, air, tissues, sediments, and others).

A customized extraction system used for the collection and extraction of large volumes of water in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory — Columbia, Missouri. Customized extraction system

(Credit: David Alvarez, USGS. Public domain.)

Key Analytical Capabilities

  • Analysis of Organic and Inorganic chemicals in tissues and sediments
  • Development and application of field sampling techniques (passive and active)
  • Effects-Directed Analysis and non-target chemical analysis by liquid chromatography/quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry
  • Custom method development

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system to fractionate water sample

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory — Columbia, Missouri. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system to fractionate water samples for identification of biologically-active chemicals.

(Credit: Jennifer Colleen Brennan, USGS. Public domain.)

Key Instrumentation

  • Modern laboratory facility with dedicated spaces for organic and inorganic analyses
  • 3 gas chromatography/mass spectrometry systems
  • Magnetic sector high resolution gas chromatography/mass spectrometer
  • Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry for elements across much of the periodic table
  • Customized sample extraction and processing equipment for measuring trace contaminations
An inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) for the measurement of metals in environmental samples

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory — Columbia, Missouri. An inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) for the measurement of metals in environmental samples.

(Credit: Danielle M. Cleveland, USGS. Public domain.)

 

A liquid chromatography/quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometer used for the detection of both target and unknown chemicals

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory — Columbia, Missouri. A liquid chromatography/quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometer used for the detection of both target and unknown chemicals in environmental samples.

(Credit: David Alvarez, USGS. Public domain.)

 

A liquid chromatography/triple quadrupole mass spectrometer used for the detection of pesticides, estrogens, and pharmaceuticals

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory — Columbia, Missouri. A liquid chromatography/triple quadrupole mass spectrometer used for the detection of pesticides, estrogens, and pharmaceuticals in environmental samples.

(Credit: David Alvarez, USGS. Public domain.)

Contacts

David Alvarez, Ph.D.

Supervisory Research Chemist
Columbia Environmental Research Center
Phone: 573-441-2970

Michael Focazio, PhD

Environmental Health Program Coordinator
Ecosystems
Phone: 703-648-6808

Geoffrey Plumlee, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist
Office of the Director
Phone: 703-648-6403