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THE EVOLUTION OF ATOMIC SPECTROSCOPY IN MEASURING TOXIC CONTAMINANTS
Glass, G E. THE EVOLUTION OF ATOMIC SPECTROSCOPY IN MEASURING TOXIC CONTAMINANTS. Presented at 16th Annual Sigma Xi Scientific Poster Exhibition, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Duluth, MN, Feb. 21-25, 2000.
Three decades of study of environmental conditions necessary for the protection of freshwater
aquatic life have been limited by the development and application of analytical methodology utilizing atomic adsorption, atomic fluorescence, and atomic emission spectroscopy.
The limitations in instrument characteristics were compounded by limitations in laboratory practices which prevented the full utilization of available instrument sensitvity due to contamination in the work environment.
Present recognition and application of "clean" techniques and "good" laboratory practices have removed many of the pitfalls in making meaningful measurements of actual levels of environmental contaminants and toxic conditions. At the same time as the development of computer technology and its application to instrumental requirements occurred, new sources of excitation (microwave induced plasma) and standard reference materials (SRMs) have been developed for use in atomic spectroscopy, making possible new approaches and pathways in advancing environmental research into multiple component analysis at femtogram levels within in situ micro environments.
The commercially available HS-GC-AED (Hewlett-Packard) is an example of the newly available instrumentation capable of meeting present analytical needs for exploratory environmental research. Examples of recent measurements are presented to illustrate present instrumental capabilities.