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Shanghai EPA Enhances Environmental Monitoring

October 31, 2014

Shanghai, the largest city in China.

Shanghai, the largest city in China, is the leader in Chinese economy, science and technology, industry, finance and trade. Currently, the Shanghai government is faced with the burden of increasing productivity while still protecting and improving the health and safety of the environment. There are many drivers impacting environmental quality in Shanghai, such as population expansion, industry decentralization, and pollution discharge of existing and new emerging pollutants.

The Shanghai EPA is a government agency, with the primary role of monitoring and protecting the Shanghai environment. The agency also provides great support and leadership to EPA agencies in other provinces as a result of their first-class environmental monitoring capabilities with advanced instruments and experienced engineers.

Testing Hundreds of Samples Every Day

Currently, the Shanghai EPA requires strict routine monitoring of pollutants from lakes & streams, sea water, air, soil, and other environmental samples. There are hundreds of environmental samples with different matrices to be tested every day, and most of them include multiple elements, which are difficult and impact efficiency. In addition, some elements with sub-parts per billion (ppb) to parts per trillion (ppt) concentration levels cannot be detected by traditional atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) or inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and the district /county level test technicians, require an easy to operate instrument so they can be assured reliable results.

Ready to Meet New Challenges

To help meet these requirements, the Shanghai EPA has consulted with PerkinElmer to select the most suitable and advanced analytical instruments to enhance their environmental monitoring capabilities and to meet their monitoring requirements. To help them meet these increasing requirements, they have selected a suite of over 20 PerkinElmer systems including as AA, ICP-OES and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) systems for trace metals.

The director of the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center (SEMC) heavy metal testing lab said, "The PerkinElmer Optima® 7300DV ICP-OES system has improved sample throughput by 30-40% and we were able to transfer some of our tests increasing our efficiency by 50 – 100%. The NexION ® 300 ICP-MS system can measure heavy metals with a sub-ppb to ppt concentration level to widely extend our environmental monitoring range, especially if it is used very frequently to measure some ultralow concentration level elements, such as thallium, lead, selenium etc. in surface water and underground water samples. Now, we have the full capability to test heavy metals required in existing standards and are well positioned to meet new future regulatory requirements."

Reducing pollution to improve citizens’ quality of life was stated as one of the Chinese government's most important goals. Rapid growth has put a strain on China's resources and environment, but organizations such as Shanghai's EPA are assisting the government with programs to clean up the environment. In fact, 2014 has seen the first decline in the use of coal for energy in the country this century.

In 2013, the Chinese government released a plan to cut air pollution in major cities, including cutting pollution by 20 percent in Shanghai. The plan will involve banning heavily polluting vehicles and reducing China's reliance on coal, which is a major cause of the city's air quality woes.

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