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Element Analysis of Biological Samples

Introduction

The chemical analysis of biological samples is an important measure of both human and environmental health. For the most part, this type of analysis has been done by wet-chemical, destructive techniques and essentially ignored by the field of XRF. However, the XRF technique provides high accuracy and precision with excellent detection limits.

A prime example of the biological matrix is food. The safety of food products and food sources is a high priority world-wide and as such has received much attention by national governments and international organizations such as the World Health Organization. The inorganic materials of concern are largely comprised of heavy-metal contaminants that have permeated into the food chain. Some metals, particularly those that rarely exist in significant quantities in the undisturbed natural environment, such as As and Hg are very dangerous when ingested or inhaled in low quantities.

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