Trace Metals and Metals Speciation

Trace Elements Analysis

Inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is widely recognized as one of the most accurate and precise analytical techniques for the determination of many trace elements in a wide variety of sample types. However, analyses using a conventional instrument configuration have also been persistently challenging due to isobaric and polyatomic interferences causing a high bias that can severely compromise the accuracy of reported results. The end result is the elimination of false-positives and lowest detection limits for even the toughest matrices.

Brooks Applied Labs has a depth of knowledge and expertise that supports trace elements quantification using both promulgated and internally generated methods depending on the data objectives and administrative requirements of the project. We use state of the art inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry with various interference removal technologies to accurately determine arsenic, selenium, iron, chromium, and various other elements with previously unattainable detection limits.


Trace Elements Speciation

Brooks Applied Labs has developed an array of specialized analytical techniques for trace metals speciation depending on the sample matrix and target molecules. Due to the unique chemical properties of different trace metals and their various molecular forms, one analytical method will not work for all species and all sample matrices. Through in-house research,  method development, and collaborations with industry, our scientists have generated robust preparatory and analytical methods to support most trace metals speciation requests.

New analytical techniques are regularly generated and validated in accordance with industry demand as well as ecological and toxicological importance. Trace metals speciation analysis is currently supported for most sample matrices.


Mercury and Mercury Speciation

Mercury is an element that often reacts differently than other metals and therefore needs specialized techniques. Our scientists have developed numerous methods with the use of cold-vapor atomic fluorescence and hyphenated ICP-MS techniques for mercury determination at low levels and in difficult matrices.

The difference in toxicity, mobility, and treatability of mercury is directly predicated on its molecular form. Many regulations associated with food, water, and drug safety focus on methyl mercury using promulgated method EPA 1630. Although EPA Method 1630 has been proven to have excellent performance for a vast array of sample matrices, it does have some limitations. In order to support more diverse chemical systems and complicated mercury species our lab has developed state of the art analytical methods coupling liquid and gas chromatographic systems with in-line cold vapor reduction and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

Brooks Applied Labs has extensive experience applying these methods for the determination of mercury species in matrices such as water, food, soils, and a variety of biological materials.