High throughput analysis of drinking water by ICP-MS

Drinking water is the world‘s most important resource and most consumed food. Quality control for drinking water is regulated by international and national regulations and norms. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the Method 200.8 which specifies criteria for the determination of trace elements in waters and wastes by ICP-MS. The analyses are carried out in order to guarantee safe products free from toxic contaminations. Almost all analyses offered by contract labs follow regulations and standards in order to harmonize the measurement procedures. For those labs requiring high sample throughput each day, not only accuracy, precision and robustness of the method chosen are important but especially the speed of analysis matters. The more samples that can be analyzed per hour, the lower the cost per sample. Using Analytik Jena’s patented iCRC technology for interference removal, we demonstrate the measurement of 82 drinking water samples per hour with 21 elements (+4 internal standards). Even with this high sample throughput, highly precise results were achieved (average RSD <2.2 %) according to the U.S. EPA 200.8 regulation. Due to the robustness of the method and the unmatched sensitivity of the PlasmaQuant® MS, an even higher precision with an average RSD of 1.5 % is demonstrated at a very competitive throughput of 60 samples per hour. In combination with the lowest argon consumption on the market, this translates into lowest cost per sample.

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