Simultaneous Determination of Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, and Cu in plants using microwave digestion and graphite furnace AAS

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Courtesy of PerkinElmer, Inc.

The determination of lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, and copper in plants is part of several biological monitoring programs. Monitoring these elements is important in order to observe and document the damage on plants caused by environmental pollution. The samples consist of leaves and needles collected from different types of trees. These trees are selected species monitored over a long period of time. The method described shows how Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, and Cu can be measured simultaneously using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS).

Experimental
A standard PerkinElmer SIMAA™ 6100 simultaneous atomic aborption spectrometer with transversely heated graphite furnace and Zeemaneffect background correction was employed. An electrodeless discharge lamp (EDL) was used for Cd, whereas hollow cathode lamps (HCL) were used for Pb, Ni, Cr, and Cu. The concentration of the palladium-magnesium nitrate matrix modifier was 5 μg Pd and 3 μg Mg(NO3)2 per analysis.

The PerkinElmer multielement standard (Part Number N930-0244) was used to prepare the reference solutions. All reference solutions and samples were acidified using 0.2% (v/v) ultrapure HNO3.

The samples were collected from reference trees using the seventh verticil from the top. The needle samples from conifers were collected during the winter pause of vegetation growth and the leaves from deciduous trees were collected during foliation.

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