The determination of metals (antimony, bismuth, lead, cadmium, mercury, palladium, platinum, tellurium, thallium, tin and tungsten) in urine samples by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
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Objective: An analytical method has been established to determine the concentration of antimony (Sb), bismuth (Bi), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), palladium (Pd), platinum (Pt), tellurium (Te), tin (Sn), thallium (Tl) and tungsten (W) in urine. The aim was to develop a method which is equally suitable for the determination of environmentally as well as occupationally caused metal excretion. Methods: Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) was used for the determination of metals. Calibration was done using aqueous solutions and standard addition respectively. Results: Urine samples of 14 persons occupationally non-exposed to metals were analysed. With the exception of Pt and Bi all the metals were found in these urine samples. The detection limits for these metals lie between 5 and 50 ng/l. Conclusions: For some metals, which are important from an occupational as well as an environmental viewpoint, ICP-MS is more sensitive than atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). ICP-MS, moreover, is welcome as a reference method for AAS with the additional advantage of multi-element measurement.
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