Andrew Thomson Research Laboratories
The Andrew Thomson Research Laboratory is home to a variety of ECCC research and monitoring programs. These programs result in scientific input about ECCC priority issues - including smog, acid deposition, climate change, and hazardous air pollutants/persistent organic pollutants.
The facility’s work supports various Government of Canada priority programs including the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda and the Chemicals Management Plan, as well as national and international activities, such as: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s Northern Contaminants Program; the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement; the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement; the United Nations Environment Programme; the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program; the Canada-Alberta Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Program; and the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Atmosphere Watch Program.
There are thirteen research and monitoring laboratories at the Andrew Thomson Research Laboratory. Its unique and specific capacities include:
- The Canadian Air and Precipitation Monitoring Network (CAPMoN) laboratory, which specializes in the analysis of precipitation, air, and particulate matter (PM) samples collected at regionally representative sites across Canada. This contributes to the understanding and evaluation of the impacts and risks to ecosystems from acid deposition and assists with the assessment of the effectiveness of emission reduction programs.
- The Organics Analysis Laboratory, the Hazardous Air Pollutants Laboratory, and the Mercury Research Laboratory, specializing in the analysis of substances including persistent organic pollutants, emerging commercial chemicals of concern and mercury. The labs also provide scientific information for assessing and managing risks that these substances may pose to sensitive ecosystems in Canada and globally, such as in the Great Lakes Basin and the Arctic.
- Organic aerosol analysis laboratories, specializing in the measurement of organic compounds in atmospheric particles with advanced analytical tools, to support various air quality field programs.
- Laboratories to measure aerosols (including black carbon) and improve our understanding of their fate and behaviour in the atmosphere. These pollutants are important in our understanding of urban and regional air quality, but also have an impact on the global climate system.
- A greenhouse gas (GHG) laboratory that specializes in the measurement of atmospheric concentrations of GHGs (including carbon dioxide and methane) across Canada. This contributes to understanding of greenhouse gases across Canada, including regional-scale determination of major GHG sources and sinks.