The Environmental Laboratory of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the only state-run environmental laboratory for analyzing environmental samples for state government facilities. It serves the entire DEQ analyzing nearly all of the samples from DEQ environmental programs. The Laboratory's mission is to provide the best possible service in the most cost effective manner for the state, to serve as the state's reference lab, and to provide consultative service to the private sector and the general public.
ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY 3350 N. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Lansing, MI 48906-2933 Phone: (517) 335-9800 Fax: (517) 335-9600
This 27,000 square foot laboratory facility, situated in Lansing, operates with a staff of more than 40 highly trained professionals utilizing state-of-the-art laboratory analytical instruments. The Laboratory routinely analyzes environmental contaminants at concentration levels of a few parts per billion. To put things in perspective, one part per billion is the equivalent of one second in 32 years or approximately 71 times smaller than one's chance of winning the Michigan Lotto. This kind of laboratory analysis requires extreme care, well-trained staff and highly sophisticated analytical instrumentation. Examples of the instruments used include: Gas Chromatograph (GC), Combination Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS), Atomic Absorption (AA) and Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Spectrometers. The DEQ Environmental Laboratory performs approximately a quarter of a million analyses per year. In addition, it assists the people of Michigan with questions regarding laboratory analysis and reviews data generated by other laboratories. Laboratory tours are conducted to help those interested in laboratory analysis gain a better understanding of what the DEQ Laboratory does and how laboratory analyses are performed.
The Laboratory is divided into two units. One unit is dedicated to analyzing organic compounds. These compounds include: solvents such as methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, benzene, toluene, etc.; chlorinated pesticides such as DDT, Dieldrin, chlordane, etc.; and, other organic compounds such as PCB's, phenols and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNA's). Most of these compounds are either highly toxic, persistent in the environment or bioaccumulative in animals and humans. The other unit is dedicated to analyzing inorganic or non-carbon containing compounds such as heavy metals like lead, mercury and arsenic and a host of other water quality parameters such COD, cyanides and nutrients. Sources of the samples could be from hazardous waste sites, state-wide river and lake monitoring, discharges from specific sources, accidental spills of hazardous chemicals, criminal and civil enforcement actions and citizen complaints. The types of samples that the DEQ Environmental Laboratory analyses include: air, water, soil, oil, hazardous waste, sewage sludge, even bricks and concrete, and, on one occasion, a broomstick!