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Evaluation of radiochemical neutron activation analysis methods for determination of arsenic in biological materials

, : Evaluation of radiochemical neutron activation analysis methods for determination of arsenic in biological materials. Analytical Chemistry 83(1): 152-156

Radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA) with retention on hydrated manganese dioxide (HMD) has played a key role in the certification of As in biological materials at NIST. Although this method provides very high and reproducible yields and detection limits at low microgram/kilogram levels, counting geometry uncertainties may arise from unequal distribution of As in the HMD, and arsenic detection limits may not be optimal due to significant retention of other elements. An alternate RNAA procedure with separation of arsenic by solvent extraction has been investigated. After digestion of samples in nitric and perchloric acids, As(III) is extracted from 2 M sulfuric acid solution into a solution of zinc diethyldithiocarbamate in chloroform. Counting of (76)As allows quantitation of arsenic. Addition of an (77)As tracer solution prior to dissolution allows correction for chemical yield and counting geometries, further improving reproducibility. The HMD and solvent extraction procedures for arsenic were compared through analysis of SRMs 1577c (bovine liver), 1547 (peach leaves), and 1575a (pine needles). Both methods gave As results in agreement with certified values with comparable reproducibility. However, the solvent extraction method yields a factor of 3 improvement in detection limits and is less time-consuming than the HMD method. The new method shows great promise for use in As certification in reference materials.


PMID: 21133431

DOI: 10.1021/ac102073h

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