By Ayisha Malik, EMEA
Learn how to automate and improve your environmental testing protocols.
Join our webinar, where our panel of experts will discuss solutions, techniques and tips to achieve high-quality metals detection data. They will also introduce innovative solutions from Environmental Express®, an Antylia Scientific company, that can help you to automate and improve your environmental testing protocols.
In this webinar, you will learn how to:
- Reduce contamination to obtain clean and precise results
- Improve sample preparation methodologies to remain compatible with advancements in ICP-MS technologies
- Stay competitive in the environmental testing market by achieving lower detection limits
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Time: 1300 BST (London)| 1400 CST (Madrid) | 1730 IST (India)
Date: Friday, July 16, 2021
Time: 0900 PDT (Los Angeles) | 1100 CDT (Chicago) | 1200 EDT (New York)
Nassima Galloway – EMEA Sales Lead, Antylia Scientific
Michael Bechtold – Global Product Manager, Antylia Scientific
David Smith – Technical Director, Antylia Scientific
More about metals testing and this webinar
The words, heavy metals, usually fill us with a sense of dread but what are they, how do they affect us, and how do we monitor their levels in our environment?
Our modern lifestyle happens to contribute to a number of environmental concerns. From deforestation to plastic pollution, we are continually looking to find ways to minimise the impact of our actions. Another concern that is also on the rise is heavy metals pollution in our soil and water.
Heavy metals pollution in the environment
Upsurge in processes and electronic waste in our landfills have led to an increase in dangerous metals leaching into the environment. As heavy metals are not biotransformed, they accumulate and build up in our surroundings. Once in our soil and water, heavy metals can upset the ecosystem and enter into our food chain, leading to many severe and chronic health problems.
Regulations and requirements in metals testing
Any process that affects human health tends to be heavily regulated and metals contamination is no exception. In Europe, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) regulations are used to monitor heavy metals detection techniques and levels; similarly, there are the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated processes to control and manage metals testing in the USA.
ISO 15587-1 (aqua regia digestion) and ISO 15587-2 (nitric acid digestion) are widely used to digest metals for wastewater, effluent, surface and drinking water testing protocols, while ISO 17294-2:2016 specifies the method to determine levels of 62 elements, which have been identified as dangerous using inductively coupled plasma-mass-spectrometry (ICP-MS) technology. These dictate both the detection processes and the allowable concentrations in drinking, surface, ground and wastewater.
As per regulatory requirements, not only is the final detection data determined by ICP-MS, sample collection, preparation, and testing methods also need to be in line with the relevant ICP-MS technology. With the advent of technology, ICP-MS detection is continually evolving, which means, labs have to keep adapting their workflows to both the regulatory expectations and advancements in this technology.
Additionally, environmental testing labs are always looking for an edge to remain competitive. One of the first tools acquired to improve detection quality is the latest ICP-MS machinery. Nowadays, labs can accurately determine metals levels in the parts per billion (ppb) or even parts per trillion (ppt). However, these diminishing limits inevitably increase the risks of contamination.
Contamination in metals detection workflows
Great importance is always placed on the final analysis step in a metals detection protocol, but contaminations can be introduced at any point in the workflow. Cleanliness, air quality, reagents, and human error can all be equally important; so, streamlining and optimising the entire workflow is crucial for obtaining accurate and reliable results.
Looking at the metals detection process, the metals digestion step seems to be the prime point where contaminations are introduced. Complete digestion can take up to 5 hours, the longest step in the workflow, allowing more time for potential contamination events. Metals digestion also involves adding foreign chemicals and applying reaction conditions; both of which can increase contamination risks. It is therefore important to carefully isolate samples throughout the lengthy digestion step.
Be sure to join our Metals Digestion Detection Limits – How Low Can You Go? webinar to learn more.