Functions of Environmental Laboratories
Functions of Environmental Laboratories is to be responsible for dealing with contaminants that affect the environment, humans and wildlife
From the time of the Industrial movement, the world has been evolving in various sectors such as technology, chemicals, medicines, infrastructure and more. However, this rapid growth has directly affected our environment extensively. And, this is why a strong action is required because apart from the entire ecosystem, it is also affecting humans and our habitat. Therefore, it has become a necessity to take responsible actions to measure indoor air quality, contaminants and more. Now, is the time when an Environmental Laboratory comes into play.
What are Environmental Laboratories?
An Environmental Laboratory is responsible for dealing with contaminants that affect the environment, humans and wildlife. Such laboratories consist of advanced technology and experienced researchers. These researchers at an environmental laboratory produce analytical data on biological, ecological and physical sciences by performing insightful tests on various elements such as analysis of water, soil, air, waste characterization, contaminants, energetics, explosives and other aspects. However, to provide such services one must have qualified experts who are great at the development of protocols, sampling and analysis.
To function smoothly, the Environmental Laboratories entirely rely on its team of specialists. This team usually consists of lab technicians that are specially trained in testing for contaminants that have been affecting the environment and life on Earth. These technicians work under various roles and titles which includes environmental technician, environmental specialist, lab specialist or environmental health specialist. The work of these technicians is analyzed and directed by environmental scientists or engineers. The higher scientists or engineers in the Environmental Laboratories are responsible for developing new procedures for environmental cleanup or recommending new policies. So, here is a list of all the functions of Environmental Laboratories which will give you a brief idea of how the lab works.
Functions of Environmental laboratories
There are various functions or roles of an Environmental Laboratory, and here is a list of all the major functions carried by specialists –
Analysis of Environmental Samples –
The Environmental Laboratories provide technical services in which they analyse samples. They provide a detailed analysis of elements, trace metals, Total Organic Carbon and Adsorbable organic halides etc.
Environmental Laboratory Equipment Lists:
In order to detect harmful contaminants at early stage accurately environmental laboratory needs to have certain recommended equipments in their arsenal. Some of the important categories of equipments are mentioned below:
- Precision scale / Analytical Balance
- Air Monitoring devices
- Flue Gas Analyzer
- Noise level Meter
- Water pollution meter
- pH meter
- Vibration meter
- Temperature Chambers
- Particle Counters
- Digital Air testers
- BOD Meters
An Environmental Laboratory is responsible for assessing the environmental air quality and water quality. Then, using their advanced instruments like EDXRF, ICP-MS, ICP-AES, Mercury Analyser, TOC Analyser and AOX Analyser, the laboratory comes up with analytical observations of various elements, trace metals, Total Organic Carbon and organic halides.
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Sample Receipt, Registration and Distribution –
In this function, the Environmental Laboratory follows the defined protocol. The technicians collect samples from various sections of the Head Office, Regional Directorates, SPCBs and other organizations and then send them to the Central Sample Receiving Section of the laboratory. There, the samples are registered and distributed to various laboratories.
Implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Management System:
An Environmental Laboratory must also keep in mind the goodwill of its employees. They take necessary measures to ensure the safety of the lab personnel and building assets. It is important to follow the standard and regular safety measures.
Formulate technical specifications –
Apart from all things mentioned above, one of the major functions of Environmental Laboratories is to formulate technical specifications of the advanced instruments. This helps in better analysing trace metals, elements, Mercury, Total Organic Carbon, Adsorbable Organic halides and the processing equipment required for these instruments.
The Environmental Laboratories are responsible for the betterment of the health of many individuals, wildlife and the environment. With their technical data and analysis, they provide a brief solution to what to do next to preserve the well being of the area.
Laboratory Environmental Conditions
Laboratory environmental conditions refer to the controlled parameters and factors within a laboratory setting that are essential for maintaining optimal conditions for conducting scientific experiments, research, and testing. These conditions are carefully regulated to ensure accuracy, reliability, and safety in laboratory operations.
Some key aspects of laboratory environmental conditions include temperature, humidity, air quality, lighting, and noise levels. Temperature control is crucial for maintaining stability and preventing fluctuations that could impact experimental results. Humidity control helps preserve sample integrity and prevent moisture-related issues. Air quality control involves maintaining proper ventilation and filtration systems to ensure a clean and healthy laboratory environment. Adequate lighting is necessary for visibility and accurate observations. Noise levels should be minimized to minimize distractions and promote concentration.
Laboratory environmental conditions are closely monitored and managed to create an environment conducive to scientific work, promote reproducibility, and ensure the safety of laboratory personnel and the integrity of research outcomes.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The role of an environmental laboratory is to conduct scientific testing and analysis of various environmental samples, such as air, water, soil, and biological specimens, to assess the quality, composition, and presence of contaminants.
They play a crucial role in monitoring environmental conditions, evaluating compliance with regulatory standards, identifying potential hazards, and providing valuable data for decision-making and environmental management.
In the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970, which played a crucial role in promoting environmental research and establishing laboratories dedicated to monitoring and analyzing environmental samples.
Additionally, environmental monitoring and testing laboratories were established by government agencies, research institutions, and private companies in response to the need for comprehensive assessments of air and water quality, soil contamination, and other environmental parameters.
An environmental laboratory in environmental law refers to a specialized facility or department that conducts scientific testing, analysis, and research to support the enforcement of environmental regulations, provide evidence in legal proceedings, and monitor compliance with environmental standards.
These laboratories play a crucial role in assessing environmental samples, such as air, water, soil, and biological specimens, to determine the presence and concentration of pollutants or contaminants, evaluate environmental impacts, and contribute to the effective administration of environmental justice.