Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants Resource

This resource leverages ALEC, an existing core analytical facility at UA, which is dedicated to providing the analytical capabilities and technical expertise required to detect and quantify small contaminant molecules (organic and inorganic) in complex matrices including biological fluids, tissue, water, air, soil, sediment, and biomass.

Laboratory instrumentation in ALEC is maintained by a combination of funding sources including NSF, NIH, DoE, and the State of Arizona. Principal methods involve off-line or on-line separations followed by mass spectrometric detection. Instruments found in ALEC include:

  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometers (ICP-MS)
  • Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometers (LC-MS/MS)
  • Gas Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS/MS)
  • UV-Vis/Fluorescence Spectrophotometer
  • Size Exclusion Chromatography/Asymmetric Field Flow Fractionation-Multi-angle Light Scattering (SEC/AFFF-MALS)
  • X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Spectrometry
  • CNS Analyzer
  • Ion Chromatography
  • Carbon/Nitrogen Analyzer
  • Sample prep equipment - Solid Phase Extraction Workstation, Microwave Digestion

For additional information about ALEC, see the lab website at


Complex chemical analysis is best begun with a conversation about the researcher's specific needs. This allows our expertise to consider the intricacies of the project and to suggest the most appropriate steps. Working with us before submitting your samples ensures the best possible research outcomes. 

For a consultation, please contact the ALEC Director, Jon Chorover, PhD, by calling (520) 626-5635 or click here to send him an email


The ALEC Resource is Directed by Jon Chorover, PhD, and includes two full-time research scientists dedicated to assisting SWEHSC researchers to access the full range of analytical capabilities. Leif Abrell, PhD, oversees organic mass spectrometric analyses (LC-MS/MS, GC-MS/MS, LC-QToF-MS), whereas Mary Kay Amistadi, MS, is in charge of inorganic mass spectrometry (ICP-MS, LC-ICP-MS). These individuals train frequent users or perform analyses on a cost-recovery basis.