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14C Contamination Testing in Natural Abundance Laboratories: A New Preparation Method Using Wet Chemical Oxidation and Some Experiences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 October 2016

Cameron P McIntyre
Affiliation:
Biogeoscience, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland Current address: SUERC AMS Laboratory, SUERC, East Kilbride, UK
Franziska Lechleitner
Affiliation:
Biogeoscience, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland Department of Earth Sciences, University of Durham, Durham, UK
Susan Q Lang
Affiliation:
Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA
Negar Haghiour
Affiliation:
Biogeoscience, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
Simon Fahrni
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland Ionplus AG, Dietikon, Switzerland
Lukas Wacker
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
Hans-Arno Synal
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
Corresponding

Abstract

Substances enriched with radiocarbon can easily contaminate samples and laboratories used for natural abundance measurements. We have developed a new method using wet chemical oxidation for swabbing laboratories and equipment to test for 14C contamination. Here, we report the findings of 18 months’ work and more than 800 tests covering studies at multiple locations. Evidence of past and current use of enriched 14C was found at all but one location and a program of testing and communication was used to mitigate its effects. Remediation was attempted with mixed success and depended on the complexity and level of the contamination. We describe four cases from different situations.

Type
Case Studies
Information
Radiocarbon , Volume 58 , Issue 4 , December 2016 , pp. 935 - 941
Copyright
© 2016 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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References

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