Superfund Research Program
Trace Elements Analysis Core
The Trace Element Analysis Core continues to provide state of the art analytical resources and expertise to Dartmouth Superfund researchers as its primary goal. A third ICP-MS instrument, and an Agilent 7500cx, was purchased and installed in January 2009. The laboratory space and exhaust system were modified and upgraded to accommodate the new instrument. The instrument is a collision cell ICP-MS and provides low ng/L detection limits for most elements. Having three ICP-MS instruments has allowed the TEA Core to increase sample throughput while also providing instrument time for more advanced method development. The TEA Core has developed methods for ultra low level detection of Hg species using purge and trap gas chromatography ICP-MS. This method development work for low level Hg speciation and trace element analysis for low biomass samples was the feature for an NIEHS research brief. A drawback to the method is that it is time consuming and labor intensive. The TEA Core has recently purchased an automated purge and trap system for Hg speciation; we are working with the instrument supplier, Brooks Rand (Seattle, WA), to demonstrate that this system can be coupled to ICP-MS for Hg detection and speciation; the results of the study will be presented at the Winter Plasmachemistry conference in January 2010 by TEA Core post doc, Vivien Taylor. In collaboration with the Arsenic Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Exposure Assessment of Metals project and Brown University, the TEA Core received ARRA funding to support method development for the analysis of infant toenails for trace elements by ICP-MS.