, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 167-182

Preparation of hair for measurement of elements by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

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The preparation of hair for the determination of elements is a critical component of the analysis procedure. Open-beaker, closedvessel microwave, and flowthrough microwave digestion are methods that have been used for sample preparation and are discussed. A new digestion method for use with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has been developed. The method uses 0.2 g of hair and 3 mL of concentrated nitric acid in an atmospheric pressurelow-temperature microwave digestion (APLTMD) system. This preparation method is useful in handling a large numbers of samples per day and may be adapted to hair sample weights ranging from 0.08 to 0.3 g. After digestion, samples are analyzed by ICP-MS to determine the concentration of Li, Be, B, Na, Mg, Al, P, S, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ge, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Zr, Mo, Pd, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, I, Cs, Ba, Pt, Au, Hg, Tl, Pb, Bi, Th, and U. Benefits of the APLTMD include reduced contamination and sample handling, and increased precision, reliability, and sample throughput.