Metals Testing

Metals Testing Lab

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are metallic chemical elements with high density that can be toxic at low concentrations and accumulate in the environment. Most metals in the atmosphere are suspended in air in association with particulate matter, with the exception of elemental mercury vapour. Metals in ambient air may be present in different forms: elemental, or combined as oxides, carbonates or sulphates.

Emission Sources

The main anthropogenic sources of emissions of heavy metals are industrial processes, combustion of fossil fuels, vehicle exhaust, and waste incineration.  Emission sources of metals can be divided into industrial point sources (e.g. mines and metal smelters) and diffuse sources (e.g. vehicle exhaust from traffic). Metals in different compounds may have different oxidation states, which is associated with various chemical properties and emission sources. For example, coal combustion typically forms metal oxides with high oxidation states. Heavy metals are persistent in the environment and bioaccumulate in food-chains.

Health Effects

Exposure to heavy metals leads to serious health effects, such as, cancer, organ damage, nervous system damage. Metals inside the body are not easily eliminated, so they can accumulate in different organs, such as kidneys, liver and spleen. Long term exposure to a combination of heavy metals can have more severe health effects and lead to chronic illnesses. Young children and the unborn have a greater sensitivity to heavy metals.

Occupational Exposure to Metals

Workplaces with higher risk of exposure to heavy metals include mining, welding, electroplating. Occupational exposure to metals from the air can be reduced with preventative engineering solutions, such as ventilation and process enclosure.

Metals Emission Sources Occupational Exposure Reduction Methods
Metal mining and smelting
Combustion of fossil fuels
Vehicle exhaust
Waste incineration
Local exhaust ventilation
General ventilation
Process enclosure
Personal protective equipment

CASSEN Testing Labs Services for Metals Testing

  • Metal Analysis by Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and Atomic Absorption
  • Individual Metal Analysis and Metal Scan
  • Sampling Media for Air Filter Sampling and Surface Wipes
  • Technical Consultation

CASSEN Testing Labs offers technical consultations for selecting an appropriate analytical method and sampling procedure. Support and information is available by phone, online videos, and detailed instruction manuals provided with sampling media.

Rapid Turnaround Time Options

Rush analysis (8 hrs, 24 hrs, 48 hrs) is available by request.

We offer the following testing packages:


Toxic Elements
(10 Elements)

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Selenium
  • Thallium
  • Vanadium

Welding Fumes
(13 Elements)

  • Antimony
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Manganese
  • Molybenum
  • Nickel
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc

Metals(21 Elements)

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Bismuth
  • Barium
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Lithium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Nickel
  • Potassium
  • Molybdenum
  • Sodium
  • Strontium
  • Titanium
  • Zinc

Metals
(28 Elements)

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Beryllium
  • Bismuth
  • Boron
  • Cadmium
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Lithium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Nickel
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Silver
  • Sodium
  • Strontium
  • Thallium
  • Titanium
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc


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