USGS - science for a changing world

Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

Crosscutting Topics


Field and laboratory environmental measurement methods

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program develops field methods to measure a wide range of environmental properties, and develops approaches and protocols used to assess or characterize contamination.

The Program also develops laboratory analytical methods to measure a wide variety of chemicals in environmental media.

A scanning electron microscope photograph of individual algae cells.
A scanning electron microscope photograph of individual algae cells that form biofilms on rocks in some mining impacted streams. Biofilms are typically composed of several types of algae along with microscopic bacteria and fungi. When exposed to light, zinc is absorbed to the surface of the algae cells. Used with permission from Dr. Jeffrey M. Morris, Western Research Institute -- from the Diurnal Metal Variations Photo Gallery


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