The Radiochemistry section is one of five sections in the Chemistry Bureau of the Scientific Laboratory Division of the Department of Health of the State of New Mexico. The section was formed in August 1977 to provide environmental radioanalytical services for programs/projects of state and other governmental entities. See History.
As an environmental radiological analytical facility, the section’s analytical parameters are focused on the naturally occurring radionuclides, i.e. the important members of the uranium-238 series and the thorium-232 series. The section routinely analyzes for: Gross-a/ß by proportional counting; U-238/234 by alpha spectroscopy; Th-230/232 by alpha spectroscopy; Ra-226 by radon emanation; Ra-228 by beta proportional counting of Ac-228 daughter; and Rn-222 in water by liquid scintillation. A gamma spectroscopy capability is maintained for the identification and quantitation of most man-made radionuclides (i.e. gamma emitters, such as Co-60, Cs-137, I-131). Due to the presence of alpha spectroscopy instrumentation, a capability for the analysis of the following transuranic nuclides Am-241, Pu-238, and Pu-(239+240) is also maintained.
Additional parameters are potentially available, depending upon the user’s needs and support that can be mustered. Users involved in non-routine programs or special projects are encouraged to consult the section supervisor to discuss their needs and available options.