EnHS Laboratory Facilities
Graduate students in Environmental Health Sciences have the opportunity to participate closely with faculty on research projects in high-quality laboratory facilities, as well as in field practice settings.
Industrial Hygiene Laboratory
This laboratory is shared by all core industrial hygiene faculty, and is located in Boynton Health Service, a building adjacent and connected to the Mayo Building. The laboratory is used for training in industrial hygiene and chemistry, monitoring and analytical methods for air pollutants, noise, radiation, and hazardous wastes. A few features of the lab include:
- A large room occupied by a wind tunnel
- A calm-air chamber
- A filter tester
- Two biological safety cabinets
- Two wet-chemistry labs with three lab hoods
- Several smaller work, storage and office spaces
The laboratory is equipped with personal and area sampling pumps, balances, spectrophotometers, light and phase contrast microscopes, filters and charcoal tubes, Dräger pumps and tubes, noise dosimeters, a flammable storage cabinet, velometers, manometers, pressure gages, pitot tubes, a micromanometer, and dataloggers. It has considerable equipment for generating and measuring aerosols, 10 Dust Traks nephelometers, 15 gravimetric PM2.5 indoor and personal samplers, condensation particle counters, an Aerodynamic Particle Sizer, an electrostatic classifier, and portable size distribution measuring devices. In addition, the lab owns Andersen Cascade Impactors and Six-Stage Viable Samplers.
In addition, the laboratory offers various gas and vapor sampling devices including charcoal tubes, diffusion badges, and vapor absorbers. It’s also equipped with analytical instrumentation including a gas chromatograph, a mass spectrometer. and a Foxboro direct-reading FID/PID and calibration kit.
Located in the Mayo Memorial Building, the Toxicology Laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art tissue culture facilities, high-speed centrifuge, rotors, microfuges, speed vac, environmental shaker, visible and UV spectrophotometer, fluorimeter, luminometer polymerase chain reaction (PCR), liquid scintillation counter, dark room, electrophoresis and electroblotting equipment for protein and nucleic acid purification, Bio-Rad Econo System, chromatography cabinet for doing work at four degrees Centigrade.
Environmental Chemistry Laboratory
Located on the 11th floor of the Mayo Memorial Building, the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory is equipped with extraction and processing equipment for trace analysis of environmental samples. The lab includes three GC/MS, one LC/MS, a GC/ECD and a scintillation counter.
Current laboratory research focuses on understanding the processes that govern organic toxicant behavior in the aquatic environment. Fundamental research in the laboratory is also conducted to develop and test hypotheses of chemical behavior in the “real world.”
The environmental chemistry laboratory participates in a large multi-agency effort that is developing a model for use in the Great Lakes that describes toxic chemical behavior. Additional projects concentrate on the relative roles of atmospheric versus non-atmospheric sources of chemicals to the Great Lakes and the state of Minnesota, to aid in the management and regulation of the ecosystem.