Warwick Analytical Service has reported on analysis it carried out on behalf of Buckinghamshire County Council (UK) who were investigating a serious case of illegal dumping of dangerous chemicals.
As a result of laboratory analytical service data produced by Warwick Analytical Service (WAS) - Buckingham County Council (BCC) was able to successfully prosecute this criminal act.
In this 'fly tipping' incident two drums of Sodium Hydroxide each containing significant amounts of the chemical were dumped in a location known to the Council and local police to be an area of where these activities occur regularly.
The removal of these substances cost the local community in excess of £2000. Two individuals were caught on a surveillance camera which was installed at the site and subsequently interviewed at a local police station.
One of the individuals was summoned to appear in court in connection with these charges.
To assist in the prosecution of the court case, BCC contracted WAS to carry out Sodium analysis by ICP-OES to confirm the Sodium content and pH analysis to confirm that the sample was an extremely basic material.
Operating from its ISO 17025 certified facility - WAS determined 55.5% Sodium composition in the sample. While the theoretical value for Sodium in Sodium Hydroxide is 57.5% when exposed to air it reacts with Carbon Dioxide to form Sodium Carbonate.
Therefore it was concluded that this value was not inconsistent with a partly carbonized sample of Sodium Hydroxide.
WAS also obtained a pH value of 13.7 which proved that the sample was extremely alkaline consistent with Sodium Hydroxide.
WAS provided a witness statement to this effect and the court ruled that the analytical results were sufficient to prove the case and to enable BCC to secure a conviction.