Division of Environmental Chemistry
The Division of Environmental Chemistry is a unit in the Laboratories Administration of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Located in the J. Mehsen Joseph Laboratory Tower of the O'Conor Building at 201 W. Preston Street in Baltimore Maryland. We plan to move into our newly constructed laboratories adjacent to Johns Hopkins Hospital in the spring of 2014.
New Lab Building is in Progress
We work to provide and ensure consistent, accurate and defensible data generated through the analyses of multi-media environmental, clinical, and consumer product samples in support of federal and State public health regulations. By utilizing a wide array of quality technical services that enhance effective management of environmental public health programs established to protect and promote the health of the people of Maryland and their communities.
The laboratories utilize state-of-the-art instrumentation to analyze multi-media samples such as ambient air, building materials, consumer products, drinking water, drugs, dust/wipes, fish/shellfish, food, beverages, indoor air, leachates, sediments, sludges, soils, surface waters, storm water, wastewaters, and human urine and blood in support of federal and State environmental, consumer product safety, public health policies, and in response to chemical and radiological emergencies.
The Division analyze samples for volatile organics, pesticides, PCBs, semi-volatile organics, metals, non-metallic inorganics, hazardous waste characterization, industrial solvents, occupational hazardous compounds, asbestos, radionuclides, air quality indicators, characterization of white powders, other organic and inorganic toxic pollutants and metabolites of selected warfare agents.
Our professional staff possesses a broad range of experience in the performance of chemical analyses in a variety of matrices. We support environmental regulations such as the Clean Water Act(CWA), Safe Drinking Water Act(SDWA), Clean Air Act(CAA), Resources Conservation and Recovery Act(RCRA), Toxic Substances Control Act(TSCA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act(CERCLA) (also known as Superfund).
We serve as an analytical support laboratory for various State Departments, agencies, and program offices including the State's twenty-three County Health Departments an Baltimore City Health Department. The Division consists primarily of chemists and technicians and is comprised of eight (8) specialized analytical Sections: Air Quality; Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Response (includes biomonitoring, chemical terrorism preparedness, forensics); General Chemistry; Nutrients; Radiation; Semi-Volatile Organics; Trace Metals, and Volatile Organics.
The laboratories are involved in the analysis of drinking water and wastewater and are certified by the USEPA for metals, volatile organics, pesticides, non-metallic inorganics, and radiation. The Air Quality Laboratory is certified by EPA for particulate matter in ambient air and maintains NVLAP certification for the analysis of bulk asbestos. The Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Response Section (biomonitoring and chemical terrorism preparedness laboratories) maintain CLIA certification for the analysis of toxic industrial chemicals and metabolites of selected chemical warfare agents.
The testing of environmental samples is performed for policy development and planning, point-source characterization, intensive surveys, fixed-
station monitoring, groundwater investigations, compliance monitoring, risk assessment, site assessments, hazardous material spills, occupational health hazards, trends analysis, permits issuance and specification monitoring, enforcement and litigation, Chesapeake Bay restoration and monitoring, consumer product labeling, product characterization, and other special projects. In addition, human physiological fluids such as urine and blood are tested in support of biomonitoring studies and for potential exposure to selected chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial compounds.