Dr. Alice Bejjani explains how the time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer works at the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission in south Beirut, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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There are five monitoring stations in Beirut, according to Nsouli, and the LAEC is working in cooperation with St. Joseph University and the American University of Beirut.Just last week, a group from the international body visited Lebanon to inspect facilities that use nuclear and radiological sources and equipment.Some 80 percent of nuclear and radiological material and equipment in Lebanon is medical, he says.The LAEC's mission doesn't stop with controlling dangerous substances and adhering to Lebanon's international commitments.In addition to monitoring air quality, the commission carries out a number of crucial functions such as testing food safety, monitoring pesticide levels, tracking soil contaminants, working with the police when cases call for advanced forensics and working with archaeologists to date and authenticate artifacts from Lebanon's rich heritage.Another point of pride for Nsouli is the LAEC's impact on Lebanon's research community.These students rely not only on the commission's equipment, but also the expertise of its 70-member staff: 57 scientists, including 20 doctorate holders, and 13 administrative and support personnel.Nsouli argues that Lebanon gets great bang for its buck through the commission.
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