Metals Service

metal-structureThe transport, fate, exposure, and toxic effects of heavy metals is a primary focus of research at the Center. The Metals Service provides metals analytical capabilities to biomedical and non-biomedical researchers and serves as a source for study design consultation and sample QA/QC requirements.


◊  Consultation: Dr. Shine, the Service Director, and Nicola Lupoli, the Trace Metal Laboratory Manager, are available for advice on the types of analyses needed for an upcoming study or grant submission. They also work with Center Members on method development for new initiatives, and provide advice on sample collection, sample preservation, archiving, shipping, and customs issues.

◊  Lab Capabilities: The Trace Metals Laboratory – Major instrumentation includes an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) for trace level work on analysis of Pb, Zn, Cd, As, Mn, Cu. For samples with higher concentrations, an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrophotometer is available. The lab is also equipped with a Direct Mercury Analyzer. The lab can also support sample preparation, for example, with the Milestone Ultrawave automated microwave digestion unit. Click here for analyses and pricing.

◊  External Services: For specialized analyses not available at the HSPH laboratory, the Metals Service staff can provide guidance with locating services and through established partnerships with laboratories at other institutions, can often provide NIEHS Center researchers with discounted pricing.

How to Access Services

The Trace Metals Laboratory operates as a modified fee-for-service laboratory. Researchers have the option of having the samples run by the Service staff, or of receiving instruction (for themselves or a doctoral or post doctoral trainee) on how to operate the analytical equipment and analyze their own samples.  Both options have associated fees and, as with other services, facility access funds can be requested internal or external services when individual grant support is not yet available.


For information on service fees, schedules and instruction, and for study consultation:

Metals Service Director, Jim Shine, 617 384-8806
Trace Metals Lab Manager, Nicola Lupoli, 617-432-3348