A purely instrumental neutron activation analysis method, using high resolution gamma-ray spectrometry with intrinsic Ge and
Ge(Li) detectors, has been used for the analysis of trace elements in copper concentrate samples. Seven rare earth elements
and eight other trace elements were determined with good precision. Standard rocks were also analyzed to check the analytical
procedure, and the results obtained are in good agreement with literature values.
Authors:S. Krishnan, E. Cortés, V. Cassorla, L. Muñoz and N. Gras
Mercury pollution in the industrial environment of Chile has been studied using hair as a monitor. Data from samples representing people living in the non-polluted and also from the polluted areas show that, hair is an effective and convenient indicator of environmental mercury pollution in Chile. A major source of mercury pollution and its transport is contaminated water. Hair is found to concentrate mercury from water to an extent of 80 to 500 fold increase in hair concentration. This absorption occurs in a contact time of 24 h and thus provides a means of treating mercury containing water to reduce the mercury to acceptable levels. The capacity of hair for this purpose is about 0.2% which means that, with a kilogram of hair /valued at less than 25 cents/ nearly 20.000 litres of contaminated water /at 0.1 ppm mercury/ can be treated. This is an inexpensive and convenient alternative to conventional ion-exchange processes which are generally very expensive, particularly for developing countries.
Authors:E. Cortés, N. Gras, L. Muñoz and V. Cassorla
Seven trace elements were determined in milk formulas, powder milk and infant food. Instrumental neutron activation analysis
was used for the analysis of Fe, Zn, Co, Cr and Rb, while As and Cu content was determined using radiochemical neutron activation
analysis. Differences were found in the trace element content of foods of the same type. Milk formulas are comparable with
human milk according to the results obtained for the elements analyzed. The samples of powder cow's milk presented similar
concentrations of the elements studied. Liver with vegetables was found to have the highest Cu content. A meal prepared at
home, made of beef and fresh vegetables showed a higher trace element content than its similar commercial one. An estimation
of the daily intake of the elements analyzed was made and compared with minimum recommended daily ingestion.