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Optical molecular fluorescence determination of ultra-trace beryllium in occupational and environmental samples using highly alkaline conditions
  • Published Date:
    Mar 14 2017
  • Source:
    Int J Environ Anal Chem. 97(3):264-275.
Filetype[PDF-453.46 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Int J Environ Anal Chem
  • Description:
    Exposures to beryllium (Be), even at extremely low levels, can cause severe health effects in a percentage of those exposed; consequently, occupational exposure limits (OELs) promulgated for this element are the lowest established for any element. This work describes the advantages of using highly alkaline dye solutions for determination of Be in occupational hygiene and environmental samples by means of an optical molecular fluorescence technique after sample extraction in 1-3% (w˖w|) aqueous ammonium bifluoride (NH|HF|). Improved attributes include the ability to further enhance the detection limits of Be in extraction solutions of high acidity with minimal dilution, which is particularly beneficial when NH|HF|solutions of higher concentration are used for extraction of Be from soil samples. Significant improvements in Be method detection limits (MDLs) are obtained at levels many-fold below those reported previously for this methodology. Notably, MDLs for Be of <0.01 ng l|/ 0.1 ng per sample have been attained, which are superior to MDLs routinely reported for this element by means of the most widely used ultra-trace elemental measurement technique, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Very low MDLs for Be are essential in consideration of reductions in OELs for this element in workplace air by health organizations and regulatory agencies in the USA and internationally. Applications of enhanced Be measurements to air filter samples, surface wipe samples, soils and newly-designed occupational air sampler inserts are illustrated.

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