A nondestructive NAA method based on the reaction 31P(n,γ)32P (T1/2 = 14.23 d) has been developed where the product nucleus, a pure β-emitter with end point energy 1.71 MeV is measured by using
an end window G.M. counter and an Al filter of 27 mg·cm−2. 32P was identified by measuring Eβ using Feather’s analysis and its half-life was found to be 15.3±0.2 days in standard reference materials (SRMs) and samples.
For most reference materials (RMs) from NIST (USA) and IAEA (Vienna), our values agree within ±5% of the certified values.
A variety of biological samples have also been analyzed and our values are in the range; medicinal herbs (n = 43), 0.29–5.23 mg/g; bhasmas (n = 19), 0.09–51.4 mg/g; vegetables (n = 8), 1.85–5.73 mg/g; lentils (n = 6), 2.1–5.5 mg/g; flours (n = 6), 1.3–3.3 mg/g; vegetarian diet (n = 5), 2.41–2.90 mg/g; fish (n = 43), 3.61–36.8 mg/g; human and animal milk (n = 6), 1.24–7.95 mg/g; commercial milk powders (n = 14), 2.76–11.9 mg/g; water from various sources (n = 14), 1–417 µg/l; human and animal blood (n = 9), 1.00–15.0 mg/g; cancerous and healthy breast tissue (n = 60), 1.00–8.63 mg/g; human hair (n = 43), 0.12–5.81 mg/g, where n is the number of samples analyzed. The method is simple, fast, and nondestructive and provides
data within ±5% error limit with a detection limit of 0.1 mg/g.