Sunset Laboratory Inc. was founded in 1984 by Bob Cary, a pioneer in the field of organic carbon and elemental carbon (OC-EC) aerosol analysis.
The thermal-optical technique developed by Bob and others at the Oregon Graduate Center was adopted as the analytic method for OC-EC measurements by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (known as NIOSH method 5040). In recognition of this achievement Bob received the 1996 Alice Hamilton Award as a co-author of this method.
The sample sources Sunset Laboratory analyzes by this method are collected in a variety of environments for multiple purposes. Sources range from ambient urban and rural areas to mining sites, work environments, national parklands, forest fire plumes, and sites of other unusual events. Samples are taken for environmental applications such as EPA monitoring programs for visibility and particle loading. We have become experts at analyzing workplace exposure assessments.
In the early 1990s, Sunset Laboratory began to make commercially available thermal-optical OC-EC lab instruments, the Lab OCEC Aerosol Analyzer. We sell these instruments worldwide, with a combined analysis base of well over 250,000 filter samples.
In 2000, we developed Model-4 Semi-Continuous OC/EC Field Analyzer, a semi-continuous OC-EC analyzer for near real-time, in-situ measurement of carbon aerosol. The time-resolution capability and laser-based pyrolysis correction techniques of this instrument provide refined information about particle origins, health exposures, and changes in air quality.
Our instruments have become the premiere analytic equipment used for OC-EC on six continents and more than 40 countries, and are ready for use with the NIOSH method 5040, IMPROVE and EUSAAR 2 protocols. Highly configurable operating parameters also allow for custom designed analysis.
Products on Display at AQESHOW
Model-4 Semi-Continuous OC-EC Field Analyzer
This rugged and compact instrument offers sensitive and reliable field operation with an optimized oven and detector design. Its access panel allows for easy filter service and calibration. New safety mechanisms and inline pressure regulators offer superior flow control.
This analyzer is perfect for:
Ambient air quality and environmental exposure measurements
Indoor air exposure assessment monitoring
Long-term environmental research such as studying the effects of regulatory changes
NIOSH exposure assessments in the workplace
This instrument is the only commercially available field deployable OC-EC analyzer with true laser-based pyrolysis correction and compatibility with accepted NIOSH 5040 and IMPROVE methods. It has a computer controlled flow system for enhanced sensitivity and fast analysis times. It also has a reduced need for support gases. The Model-4 Semi-Continuous OC-EC Field Analyzer has been extensively tested at several EPA super-sites and demonstrated excellent sensitivity, compared with other co-located integrated filter sampling systems.
Lab OC-EC Aerosol Analyzer
The Lab OC-EC Aerosol Analyzer is the industry standard for environmental and workplace monitoring. This instrument uses a proven thermal-optical method to analyze for OC-EC aerosols collected on quartz filters.
It is the basis for NIOSH Method 5040 and is fully compliant with the IMPROVE protocol. It features a new and improved microcontroller and data acquisition system for enhanced accuracy and precision. There is no comparable instrument on the market today.
In the Lab OC-EC Aerosol Analyzer, samples are thermally desorbed from the filter medium under an inert helium atmosphere followed by an oxidizing atmosphere using carefully controlled heating ramps. A flame ionization detector (FID) is used to monitor the analysis. Our proven low dead volume carrier gas control system and proprietary quartz oven design provide high sensitivity with ultra low carbon background and no oxygen contamination.