Pitfalls in the Determination of Environmental Trace Metals
The growing realization of the importance of even extremely small amounts of metals in the environment has led to an ever increasing demand for determination of these metals at trace-level concentrations. The resulting flood of data has evoked a mixed response from members of the public, scientific and otherwise. Some accept the results unhesitatingly, particularly if in conformity with their prejudices, and make them the basis for legislative action, prosecution, indifference or panic. Others deny that quantities so small can be measured with any degree of meaning, while still others are selectively skeptical, or simply bewildered. In recognition of this state of affairs and of the importance of reliable and interpretable data in the many fundamental scientific and social problems related to the presence of trace metals in the environment, I would like to examine with you the present state of the art and its implications.
KeywordsTrace Metal Trace Metal Analysis Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Personal Equation Lanthanum Hydroxide
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