Laboratory for the Analysis of Natural and Synthetic Environmental Toxins (LANSET)

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Research on environmental pollutants and natural products

Area(s) of Expertise

LANSET is a state-of-the-art facility that analyzes a wide range of natural and synthetic products to identify new compounds in boreal medicinal plants, algae, nutraceuticals, and environmental pollutants, and provides highly accurate quantitative mass spectrometry by multiple ion monitoring (MRM) and enhanced mass scans (in trapping mode). Validated methods are available for routine detection of pharmaceuticals and toxic synthetic chemicals at environmentally relevant concentrations. We also offer: targeted analysis of active compounds in food and medicinal plants by UPLC-MSD and untargeted biomarker discovery by metabolomics; detailed metal speciation analysis, specializing in mercurial and arsenicals; we analyze hair, sediments, tissue, coal, crude oil and other materials for total mercury; and we conduct anthropogenic and naturally occurring radioisotopes measurements, including radiometric dating of lake sediment and peat horizons to assess historical pollution patterns. The facility is further enhanced with sample handling, storage and tracking facilities, greenhouses, environmental growth cabinets, and a herbarium. In recognition of these contributions to the broader scientific community, the University of Ottawa awarded LANSET the status of ‘Research Facility’ in 2006.

Research Services

LANSET analyzes environmental samples for synthetic toxicants (polychlorinated biphenyls, organochlorine pesticides, organophosphate pesticides, triazine herbicides, brominated flame retardants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, synthetic estrogens, like ethinyl estradiol), metal species (especially mercury), and metalloids (especially arsenicals). Common natural product validation include: maize diferulates, ginseng ginsenosides, golden seal protoberberine alkaloids, echinacea alkamide and caffeic acid derivatives, St. John’s wort hypericins, pepper piperamides, plus new methods for emerging botanicals and bioproducts.

Sectors of Application
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Defense and security industries
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries
  • Policy and governance

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function

Organic analysis

Mass spectrometry (MS), single MS, triple-MS and time-of-flight accurate mass capabilities

Full range of organic analysis

Metals analysis

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, mercury analyzers, GC-fluorescence detection

Metals and organometals analysis

Radiometric analysis

Gamma detection by high-purity germanium detector

Radiometric analysis of environmental samples; radiometric dating of lake sediments and other environmental deposits