Trace metal laboratories are often required to speciate samples at frequencies that do not require a dedicated LC-ICPMS. As a result, costly LC systems need to be constantly attached and detached from the ICPMS. The prepFAST IC is a single platform capable of providing total elemental analysis and elemental speciation. The user can seamlessly switch between total metal analysis and speciation without having to change any hardware, solutions, or samples. In addition the system can autocalibrate from single stock standards and autodilute samples for both total metal and speciation analysis.
prepFAST IC Speciation Animation
Chromium exists in the environment in several forms which differ in their effects upon organisms. Chromium enters the air, water and soil as Cr(III) and Cr(VI) through natural processes and human activities. At certain levels, Cr(III) is an essential nutrient for humans. On the other hand, Cr(VI) is detrimental to human health and is considered carcinogenic.
For this reason, there is an interest in knowing the level of Cr(VI) in drinking water. Elemental Scientific’s prepFAST IC is a robust, speciation system that utilizes autocalibration and a low-pressure anion exchange column to separate, detect, and quantify Cr(III) and Cr(VI) species in water samples.
Farming in areas with arsenic enriched soil and groundwater can lead to an increase in arsenic levels found in several dietary staples. Naturally occurring organic and inorganic arsenic are composed of several species with a wide range of toxicity levels. Inorganic As (III and V) is toxic at only 10 mg/kg (Lethal Dose (LD)), while the organic forms (AsB, DMA and MMA) are much less toxic (LD50 >700 mg/kg). It is therefore important to know the species of As that compose the total As found in a wide variety of food, water and beverages. In clinical toxicology the level of exposure to humans is determined by doing arsenic speciation on urine samples.
The regulation (EN 71-3 and 71-3A1) concerning toy safety requires the detection of Cr VI at very low levels, possibly in the presence of a large excess of Cr III. In this new regulation the maximum allowed value in Category II toys for Cr VI is 5µg/Kg. This means that after sample preparation and extraction with 0,07M HCl for 2 hours, the measured concentration of Cr VI must be less than 10ng/L. The typical method used to separate Cr III from Cr VI is HPLC-ICP-MS, however detection of such low levels can be a challenge for this technique. The principal issues are column capacity, potential contamination in the sample preparation steps, and the ArC+ interference on 52Cr+. In this paper we examine the advantages of low pressure ion exchange chromatography coupled to an ICPMS fitted with a universal cell (collision/reaction) to perform low level Cr speciation. The analysis is fully automated by using a syringe-driven inline dilution system to automatically calibrate the ICPMS for both Cr III and Cr VI. To validate the method real samples have been measured and spiked to the lowest level required by the new regulations.
Mercury (Hg) exists in the environment in several forms, all of which are toxic to humans to some degree. Obtaining precise, timely measurements of Hg in environmental samples—especially methylmercury (MeHg) in water samples—is essential to monitoring potential toxicity issues. However, detecting trace amounts of the element is an obstacle that can prevent accurate analysis of Hg and MeHg levels. The following method allows for a simple technique to detect mercury and/or methylmercury in under 10 minutes for water, seawater, or fish digest.
Selenium is a naturally occurring element that is widely distributed throughout the environment and is a part of many industrial applications. For example, selenium is a component in the manufacturing of photovoltaic cells, metal alloys, and medical therapeutic agents, as well as an oxidizing agent in drug and chemical manufacturing. Selenium is usually found as a compound with other elements such as copper, silver, lead and nickel and the mining/refining processes for these elements yields a buildup of selenium residue through accidental mobilization. Certain species of selenium have greater toxic effects in higher concentrations, so determination of individual species is of critical importance.
The treatment of water or wastewater commonly involves the process of ozonation. Ozone is a powerful oxidation technique that can be done onsite, at a low cost, and leaves no residue behind. When included in drinking water treatment it effectively destroys bacteria and/or viruses, degrades organic compounds, eliminates odors or unwanted flavors. However, during the ozonation process bromide can be oxidized leaving the brominated form present in water. This process should be monitored to verify that the bromate species are not being formed (e.g. the by-product bromate is harmful to humans). When disinfectants are used to treat drinking water instead of ozone, chlorine or iodine can be converted to the by-products chlorate or iodate.