In the spring of 2005, ASU employees traveled up to DYE-M, Cape Dyer, Nunavut to set up the mobile lab for metals analysis. Varian 240 and 280 AA spectrometers are being used for this 6-year clean-up project. The laboratory is housed in two trailers with one used for drying soils and the other for soil digestion and analysis of the digests by atomic absorption spectroscopy.
Mary Andrews and Kevin McKenna arrived on site on 26th July 2006 and were on site for a total of 16 days. Most of the renovations recommended by ASU for the laboratory trailers were completed before their arrival. These renovations included painting the fumehoods with protective paint and improving the access for cylinders and personnel. Two atomic absorption spectrometers were installed: a Varian AA280FS (fast sequential AA) for the analysis of Cu, Ni, Co, Cd, Pb, Zn and Cr in soil; and a Varian AA240 AA with vapour generation accessory (VGA) for the determination of arsenic by the technique of hydride generation.
A new method for soil digestion was developed in 2006 in order to cycle through more samples. This 4h short digestion method applies to samples being tested for Cu, Pb and Zn, as well as Arctic Suite (without Cr and As) and reduced turnaround time for these samples to 36 hours.
The mobile lab was set up according to the accredited southern laboratory standards.
The mobile laboratory is expected to go into full operation in the 2008 season.