An Assessment of Laboratory Contamination at the IsoTrace Radiocarbon Facility
AuthorGurfinkel, D. M.
KeywordsIsoTrace Radiocarbon Facility
University of Toronto
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CitationGurfinkel, D. M. (1987). An assessment of laboratory contamination at the IsoTrace Radiocarbon Facility. Radiocarbon, 29(3), 335-346.
PublisherAmerican Journal of Science
AbstractAn assessment of the contamination contribution of various sample preparation procedures used at the Isotrace Radiocarbon Facility, University of Toronto, is described. Samples of geologic material, millions of years old, or samples derived therefrom, were tested because these would presumably contain only dead carbon. Results showed, however, that 14C contamination could be detected in several samples, complicating the contamination assessment. Best estimates of the contamination contribution from sample preparation were reported as: cracking: <0.17% modern, acetylene synthesis: <0.25% modern, combustion: <0.39% modern, and handling: <0.54% modern. These estimates were reported as upper limits because they likely represented 14C derived from two sources: sample preparation and the sample itself.