IAEA Regional Training Course on “Organization and Competence of the Regulatory Body” in Beirut, Lebanon from 13 to 17 February 2017, [more info]
Technical Support Ion Beam Analysis Materials Science Art and Archeology Environment Pharmaceutical Sciences Gamma Spectroscopy Alpha Spectroscopy Tritium Enrichment Radiocarbon and Dating Radon Measurement Ultra-Trace Analysis Secondary Standard Dosimetry Personal Dosimetry Analysis Of Organic Compounds Hormones And Tumor Markers Analysis Microorganisms and Food Irradiation Narcotic Drugs And Explosives Pesticide Residues Analysis Polycyclic Aromatic & Aliphatic Hydrocarbons Analysis Food Irradiation Occurrence and Molecular Biology of Mycotoxins Study of Cyanobacteria and their Toxins in Lebanon Hydrosystems Materials for Radiation Detection Nano imaging and Surface Mass Spectrometry Characterization of Binary Drug by ToF-SIMS Characterization of Nano Layer BInGaAs deposited on Ga As Substrate Beta Spectroscopy
Polycyclic Aromatic And Aliphatic Hydrocarbons Analysis
Nano imaging and Surface Mass Spectrometry
The nano imaging and surface analysis by mass spectrometry laboratory is recently established (July 2011). The used techniques are based on tunnel scanning microscopy and ToF-secondary ion mass spectrometry techniques.

The first technique can allow topography studies for surfaces at nanometric scale while the ToF-SIMS technique allows the elemental, chemical and molecular analysis of surfaces and permits the obtention of molecular imaging and elemental depth profile with very high resolution (nm). Analysis and applied research in this laboratory are centered on polymer, painting, drugs, semi conductors and printing characterization.

The laboratory is cooperating with the industrial sector and with different research centers and universities in several areas involving elemental and molecular detection.

Hereafter, we show some recent results obtained in different areas like material sciences, pharmaceutical sciences and printing certification.

Characterization of Binary Drug by ToF-SIMS
A project on the analysis of drug using ToF-SIMS is launched for the characterization and for potential semi quantification of active ingredients (AIs) in commercial medicines. The optimization of the technique, for reliable semi quantification of AIs, needs well comprehension of different parameters that are influencing the secondary ion emission (intra and inter molecule interaction, homogeneity, surface topography and composition...)
Characterization of Nano Layer BInGaAs deposited on Ga As Substrate

Semi quantification and eventually absolute quantification of light elements in quaternary thin films deposited onto semiconductor substrates is investigated for BInGaAs/GaAs system. Surface homogeneity as well as potential diffusion of Boron in the substrate is studied.
Analysis of Banknote as Quality Control and Certification
Microorganisms and Food Irradiation
The laboratory of Microorgasms and Food Irradiation was established in January 2009 in order to conduct research in microorganisms contaminated food and environment. Research program, realized in collaboration with national and international laboratories, is divided into two areas:
Food irradiation and analysis of cyanobacteria, fungi and their associated toxins.
Food Irradiation
Food irradiation is a technology for controlling spoilage and eliminating food-borne pathogens, such as salmonella. Research on irradiated food has been initiated at the laboratory since the beginning of 2011 using Cobalt-60 gamma irradiators. The purpose of this area is to study the effect of ionizing radiation on food products particularly those of economic importance to Lebanon in order to improve the microbiological quality and increase food safety.and to reduce the economic loss resulting from food deterioration.
Occurrence and Molecular Biology of Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins are toxic fungal metabolites that contaminate various agricultural products, either pre- or post- harvest. They threaten the safety of food and can cause serious health effects in humans. Early detection and control of mycotoxin producing species is crucial to prevent its entering into the food chain and it is a useful tool in disease management practices. The laboratory is interested in mycotoxin research especially ochratoxin A, aflatoxins/ sterigmatocystins, patulin and zearalenone. Research activities include:
  • i) Determination of mycotoxins in different food commoditie like dairy products, apple, cereals, etc..
  • ii) Microbial decontamination of mycotoxins and
  • iii) Development of molecular methods for differentiation and detection of mycotoxigenic fungi
Study of Cyanobacteria and their Toxins in Lebanon Hydrosystems

Toxic blooms of cyanobacteria (blue green algae) have become a frequent phenomenon in eutrophic lakes and reservoirs throughout the world due to the public health risks, negative impacts on ecological and economical aspects. Since 2009, toxic blooms of Microcystis aeruginosa and Aphanizomenon ovalusporum have been detected for the first time in Lake Karaoun. The laboratory of Microorganisms and Food Irradiation carry out research work intended to management strategy for managing cyanobacteria and the overall lake quality. Current works in the laboratory include:
  • Ecophysiological study of cyanobacteria: factors affecting their proliferation and toxins production
  • Development of monitoring program of the toxic cyanobacterial blooms by in situ physico-chemical parameters measurements
  • Establishment of an operational mathematical modeling of the dynamics of phytoplankton activity

Microcystis Aeruginosa

Aphanizomenon Ovalusporum

Analysis of Organic Compounds
The laboratory for analysis of organic compounds is mainly analyzes and monitors organic pollutants in foodstuff and environmental samples. The laboratory is cooperating closely with different Ministries such as Defense, Agriculture, Economy and Trade, Environment, Finance and Interior and with the private sector (farmers, NGOs, food industries) by providing high quality analytical services (more than 1000 analysis per year), and is conducting research through the development of analytical protocols for analysis of organic pollutants, drugs, explosives, and food contaminants. The research program is centered on:
  • Development of new analytical protocols for pesticide residues in foodstuff.
  • Optimization of analytical protocols to detect narcotic drugs and explosives traces in complex matrix.
  • Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in sediments, air, drinking water and seawater.
  • Development and implementation of passive samplers.
  • Analysis of veterinary drug residues in accordance to EU Directive 96/23/EC.
  • Identification of pesticides photoproducts using photo degradation process.
Narcotic Drugs and Explosives
The laboratory, in collaboration with Internal security forces, Lebanese army and customs, provides scientific evidences relating to drugs and explosives analysis in chemical and biological samples such as cosmetics, powders, fluids and soil using gas and liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, based on their retention time matching and their spectral finger printing as legal defensible data.
Pesticide Residues Analysis
The laboratory employs a standard multi-residues methods for the determination and quantification of more than 120 pesticides residues from different chemical groups (Organochlorine, Organophosphorus, Organonitrogens, Carbamates, Pyrethroids) in fruits, vegetables, cereals and water by using GC-MS and LC-MS/MS. The pesticide residue values results are interpreted according to CODEX and EU international standards: (<0.01 mg/kg).

The number of samples analyzed in the laboratory is in significant increase (by a factor of three in the last four years). Actually, the number of analyzed samples is > 700 samples per year.

An efficient QA/QC system is applied to demonstrate the accuracy, reliability and the robustness of the analytical results through internal quality control procedures and proficiency testing schemes, with highly satisfactory results. All this, will contribute to the analytical compliance of the laboratory to ISO 17025.
Polycyclic Aromatic & Aliphatic Hydrocarbons Analysis
The laboratory offers services in the analyses of (PAHs) and aliphatic hydrocarbons in water. A new fast and reliable in-house method using solid-phase extraction technique followed by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GCMS) analysis was developed, validated and published recently.

Sixteen PAHs classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as priority hazardous substances and twenty four aliphatic hydrocarbons with carbon chain lengths ranging from n-C10 to n-C33 are analyzed in the laboratory with very low detection limit (parts per billion) using high sensitive and robust analytical equipment.

Ion Beam Analysis
The laboratory is equipped with a NEC-5SDH 1.7 MV tandem pelletron accelerator. The analytical capabilities available on the facility include particle-induced X-ray emission PIXE, proton induced gamma-ray emission PIGE, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry RBS and elastic recoil detection analysis ERDA. The main strength of IBA is to be multi-elemental, fast, non destructive and could be performed simultaneously. Hence, they could determine the elemental composition of different kind of samples, covering nearly the whole periodic table, with sensitivity for some elements down to ppm level (part per million). Furthermore, they can measure the stoichiometry and thickness of thin films, or multilayer, elaborated on bulk materials with a possibility to perform elemental depth profile; art and archeology, environment, materials science, pharmaceutical science and bio-medicine.
IBA are considered as nuclear analytical techniques and they are used in different applied research. IBA techniques are often used in the below fields of applications where some case studies are shown:
Materials Science
Determination of elemental depth profiles, thickness and stoichiometry of thin-layers or multi-layers. Then, based on IBA results, the physical, electrical or optical properties will be correlated with experimental parameters of the process of synthesis of materials such as semiconductors, alloys, detectors, solar cells, nano-particles.
Art and Archeology
To determine the provenance and authenticity of objects in art and archeology such as ceramics, coins, statuette, painting
Environment
Determination of toxic, pollutant, harmful or nutrient elements in samples such as food, aerosol, soil, sediment, paint.
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Quantification of heteroatom containing active ingredients in commercial solid drugs.
Gamma Spectroscopy
- Gamma spectrometers with HPGe detectors of relative efficiencies 30 % and 40 % , and with extended range HPGe of Relative efficiency 50% with Beryllium window dedicated for radionuclides analysis.
-Qualitative and quantitative analysis of gamma emitters in different sample matrices (environment, consumable products and food) Gamma spectrometer with NaI(TL) detector for Total Gamma measurements.
- Portable gamma spectrometers with NaI(TL) detectors for in situ measurements

A quality system according to ISO standard 17025 is already implemented, preparing the laboratory to be accredited.

Alpha Spectroscopy
Determination of actinides (U, Th, Pu, Am and Po) in environmental samples
- For Uranium and Thorium isotopes, source preparation done by elctrodeposition into a stainless steel disk - For Po-210 , source preparation done by electro-less deposition on a silver disk
- Protocol for Plutonium isotopes determination by micro-precipitation on a filter, is under development
- Protocol for Am-241 determination by electrodeposition on a stainless steel disk, is under development.
Beta Spectroscopy

Measurement of Beta radiation emitters in different matrices by Liquid Scintillation Counter after chemical treatment

Applications:
  • Determination of radiological water quality (Gross Alpha/Gross Beta)
  • Geochemical studies by measuring C-14, H-3 ,Ra-226
  • Archeological studies by measuring C-14, H-3
  • Environmental studies by analysis of Sr-90, Ra-226 and other beta emitters
Tritium Enrichment

Use of isotope techniques in water management by applying electrolysis method for Tritium enrichment system:

Applications:
  • Analysis of low level tritium in water
  • Tracing and dating groundwater
  • Evaluation of renewal of ground water reservoirs and the
  • degree of mixing in a given water system
  • Regulated monitoring of specific sites and hydrological studies
Radiocarbon and Dating
- Dating of carbonaceous materials Going back to about 50-60000 years

- Benzene synthesis line for preparation of counting medium of C-14 (benzene) , then counting by Liquid Scintillation Counter after addition of suitable cocktail.

- Synthesis in 5 stages: Carbonization, Lithium carbide production by vacuum pyrolysis or direct fusing, acetylene receiving by vacuum Hydrolysis, benzene receiving and purification gm

Applications: Archeology, Geolological studies, Environmental studies, bones, Dating olive oil and wine

Radon Measurement
-Active and passive methods for measurement of Radon gas (Rn-222) and its progenies are applied using CR-39 detectors and Alpha GUARD portable equipments with accessories for different measurements
-Calibration of equipments is performed with Ra-226 calibration box .
-Indoor and Outdoor monitoring
-Radon measurement in air, soil, water and building materials
- Inductively Coupled Plasma- Mass Spectrometry
Equiped with an ICP/MS Collision Reaction Interface CRI
Analysis of environmental samples for Radionuclides (U, Pb) and other trace elements
Secondary Standard Dosimetry
The SSDL is assigned as the national reference laboratory for calibration the detectors of ionizing radiations. It is a member of the National Metrology Committee. All standrads used in the calibration process, X-Ray, Phontoms,. are traceable to the Primary Dosimetry Laboratory IAEA- Austria
Control Room
Personal Dosimetry
The IMS laboratory is equipped with 2 Harshaw Reader 4500 system to perform the reading of dosimeters. The thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) materials are LiF. The TLD is inserted in a specific holder labeled with the users ID and the code of the institutes. The results are evaluated according to the ICPR 60. the maximum permissible dose per Year for Hp (10) is 20 mSv and for Hp (0.07) is 500 mSv.