Environmental Measurements Laboratory

Environmental Measurements Laboratory


The Environmental Measurements Laboratory (EML) is a research laboratory located in New York City, first established in 1947, that is operated by the United States government. Research at the facility is coordinated by the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security. EML scientists are an integral part of the nation's radiological incident emergency response plans.

As a federal laboratory, EML supports the United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Security objectives. EML responsibilities include monitoring international compliance with nonproliferation treaties. EML is a part of the Homeland Security Monitoring Network (HSMN) and is also an official U.S. Radionuclide Laboratory with facilities dedicated to support of the International Monitoring System.

EML programs are designed to develop and train personnel in instruments and technologies capable of detecting radioactive substances and identifying nuclear threats. EML has advanced programs in radiation survey planning, radiological monitoring and assessment, and radiation measurements (including dosimetry measurements). EML also hosts high resolution gamma sensors and equipment dedicated to measuring environmental radiation and radioactivity.

Unique EML research capabilities include the ability to generate atmospheric conditions that allow experimental evaluation of instrumentation. EML scientific programs include collaborative research with global meteorological groups dedicated to developing more accurate atmospheric modeling programs. Since the Cold War, EML has maintained the International Environmental International Environmental Sample Archive (IESA), a collection of atmospheric and other environmental samples containing isotopes present in the atmosphere during periods when nations still engaged in atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. These samples can be used to test current samples for signs of nuclear testing and are a part of nonproliferation monitoring. The samples can also allow quantitative and qualitative standardization of monitoring instrumentation.

As part of HSMN implementation, EML scientists constructed a prototype monitoring platform on top the GSA building in New York city that is capable of detecting radiological anomalies. Radiation levels can be measured by instruments utilizing a pressurized ionization chambers (PIC), comprehensive radiation sensors (CRS), and direct analysis of trapping filters via high-resolution gamma-ray analysis. The instruments are capable of distinguishing between natural radioactive sources and artificial or man-made sources.

EML programs include surface, air, and high altitude sampling programs, soil and sediment sampling programs, and fallout measurement programs.

EML scientists have developed particulate collection systems that utilize sodium iodide gamma detectors, and RAMPSCAN, a highly portable battery-operated gamma radiation detector.

Other EML facilities include pulse ionization chambers capable of measuring radon levels, a gamma ray analysis laboratory, and a thermoluminescent dosimeter reader facility.



Environmental Measurements Laboratory. National Security. < http://www.eml.doe.gov/ > (March 16, 2003).

United States Department of Energy, Office of Science. National Laboratories and User Facilities. < http://www.sc.doe.gov/Sub/Organization/Map/national_labs_and_userfacilit es.htm > (March 23, 2003).

United States Department of Homeland Security. Research & Technology. < http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?theme=27&content=374 > (March 23, 2003).


Argonne National Laboratory
Brookhaven National Laboratory
DOE (United States Department of Energy)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
Los Alamos National Laboratory
NNSA (United States National Nuclear Security Administration)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Plum Island Animal Disease Center
Sandia National Laboratories

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