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Eric Kelly


EV Chem


Title: Copper, Magnesium, and Lead Content in Dust Samples from Chemistry Labs, UNG Gainesville Campus

There are many types of metals and metal salts used in the freshman chemistry labs, some of them potentially harmful. Well-known examples include lead, mercury, and cadmium. The use of vent hoods and other precautionary actions are taken to prevent the release of these contaminates into the surrounding settings. However, trace amounts of these materials may escape into the room. The likelihood of release is related to the physical state of the reactants and products and the type of experiment performed. Experiments that require students to dispense and handle powdered metal salts can result in outright spills, or improper technique can lead to small releases that over time contribute to an increase in metal content in room dust. In addition, experiments that involve burning metals or their salts results in products that can escape into the surroundings as airborne particulates. In this study, dust samples collected from chemistry labs and from other locations within the science building as well as samples from other buildings on campus have been analyzed to determine the levels of copper, magnesium and lead present in the dust. Dust sample collection followed a standard operating procedure published by Brookhaven National Laboratory. Metal content of the samples was determined by flame atomic adsorption and copper, magnesium and lead content from various sample locations have been statistically compared.

Keywords: Flame Atomic Adsorption, Dust, Metal Salts.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Chemistry & Biochemistry

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event location
    • Robinson Ballroom B

  • Event date
    • 1 April 2015

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Jerry Allison