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Application of zirconium–iridium permanent modifier for the simultaneous determination of lead, cadmium, arsenic, and nickel in atmospheric particulate matter by multi-element electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry

Abstract

A novel and robust method for the simultaneous determination of lead, cadmium, arsenic, and nickel in atmospheric particulate matter by multi-element electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry was developed, using zirconium–iridium coating as permanent modifier (140 μg Zr and 4 μg Ir). After 300 atomization cycles, it was necessary to add 2 μg of Ir. Due to the varying concentrations of Pb in atmospheric particulate matter, lead was monitored at two wavelengths, at the less sensitive line of 261.4 nm for high concentration samples (>20 μg L−1) or at 283.3 nm for the low concentration samples. Matrix-matched calibration had to be performed for quantitative recoveries (96–102 %). Following this approach, the four elements were determined in atmospheric particulate matter samples from an industrial area near the city of Athens in two different time periods (cold–warm) with limits of detection of 5.5 ng m−3 for Pb at 261.4 nm and 0.29 ng m−3 at 283.3 nm, 0.019 ng m−3 for Cd, 0.14 ng m−3 for As, and 0.22 ng m−3 for Ni. Lead, Cd, and As levels were very low, whereas Ni content was at comparable levels with other areas worldwide.

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Correspondence to Ν. S. Τhomaidis.

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Pasias, Ι.N., Τhomaidis, Ν.S., Bakeas, E.B. et al. Application of zirconium–iridium permanent modifier for the simultaneous determination of lead, cadmium, arsenic, and nickel in atmospheric particulate matter by multi-element electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Environ Monit Assess 185, 6867–6879 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-013-3071-0

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Keywords

  • Zirconium–iridium modification
  • Multi-element electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry
  • Elemental content
  • Atmospheric particulate matter
  • Industrial area
  • Athens