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Elemental Analysis Facility

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The following Environmental Health Sciences Facilities and Cores are not currently receiving or processing samples or conducting experiments due to the University-wide COVID-19 response to cease all non-essential research activities: Behavioral Sciences Facility, Epigenetics Facility, Elemental Analysis Facility, Inhalation Exposure Facility, and Histology Core. Facility and Core staff are still available to respond to inquiries and provide remote consultation related to projects that can be executed at our facilities and cores once the current restrictions on research activities are lifted. For inquiries and consultations, please complete the facility or core request form or contact its director or coordinator by email.

Our Mission

The mission of the Elemental Analysis Facility is to support the Environmental Health Sciences Center community in high sensitivity elemental analyses of biological matrices. The facility aims to meet the needs of EHSC investigators for defining elemental composition of environmental exposure mediums and resultant tissue disposition after exposure.

Analytical services are strongest for transition elements, with emphasis on toxic metals. 

Services include:

  • Consultation on experimental design and data analysis with experienced staff  in elemental analysis of essential and toxic elements.
  • Sample preparation and digestion for various tissues and biological matrices.
  • Surveying of elemental composition of biological samples.
  • High sensitivity element concentration determinations in biological samples.


  • Various protocols for biological and non-biological sample preparation for downstream elemental analyses (e.g. acid, base and microwave digestion). 
  • Element quantification spanning the ppm-ppt limits of detection (LOD).
  • Single element and simultaneous multi-element analyses (e.g. up to 10 elements routinely).
  • Multiple methodologies for Hg analyses with ppt limits of detection (LOD).
  • Chromatographic separation of complex mixtures and organo-metal speciation (e.g. GC and LC separations systems)