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Abstract  

Rapid micron-resolution quantitative elemental mapping is possible at the University of Surrey using a combination of proton induced X-ray emission tomography (PIXE-T) and simultaneous on/off-axis scanning transmission ion microscopy-tomography (STIM-T). A preliminary analysis of hair was performed. However, experimental uncertainties lead to large errors in tomograms and this work focuses on identifying and reducing the sources of error in both tomographic and 2D mapping. The STIM-T counts per pixel are used to normalise the PIXE-T data for charge. However, the geometry of the collimator and the scattering foil affects the detection rate since the loss of protons in the collimator increases as energy loss increases due to scattering. Errors in the PIXE geometric efficiency are greater in mapping when the detector is close to the sample. Moreover when a ‘funny’ filter was used for PIXE-T the uncertainty in the efficiency was found to increase because the sample-filter distance changes during the experiment.

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Abstract  

3D quantitative elemental maps of a section of a strand of hair were produced using a combination of PIXE-Tomography and simultaneous On/Off Axis STIM-Tomography at the University of Surrey Ion Beam Centre. The distributions of S, K, Cl, Ca, Fe and Zn were determined using the PIXE-T reconstruction package DISRA. The results were compared with conventional bulk PIXE analysis of tomographic data as determined using Dan32. The overall concentrations determined by PIXE were compared with elemental concentrations held in the University of Surrey Hair Database. All the entries currently in the database were produced using INAA. The merits and possible contributions of tomographic PIXE analysis to analysis of hair are discussed. The conclusions drawn from the PIXE-Tomography analysis can be used to argue for more stringent procedures for hair analysis at the University of Surrey.

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Abstract  

The epithermal beamline at the Portuguese Research Reactor is being optimized for Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA). One of the major changes is to thermalise the beam by the introduction of a sapphire crystal into the beamline. Placing the sapphire at the exit of the beamline would greatly reduce the alterations and work necessary to the port and make the crystal easily removable. However, the scattered neutrons from the sapphire would increase both the neutron-induced detector damage and the background radiation. MCNPX was used to simulate the crystal in the beam port and at the exit of the port.

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Abstract  

A new Compton suppression system (CSS) for the gamma-ray spectrometer portion of the neutron activation analysis (NAA) was set up at the RPI/ITN. The pneumatic transfer system, SIPRA, for short-lived nuclides and cyclic irradiations was improved. A full calibration procedure of the CSS and SIPRA systems was performed. Two certified reference materials, NIST-SRM-1572 (Citrus Leaves) and NIST-SRM-1633a (Coal Fly Ash) were analyzed using the calibration factors. The CSS was instrumental in lowering the detection limits of Cr, Fe, Hg, Rb, Sr, Th and Zn by reducing background and/or spectral interference considerably. The analytical results were evaluated by comparison to the NIST certified values with deviations ranging from 2% to 8% for the above mentioned elements, except Zn ranging from 10% to 15% for biological and environmental samples, respectively.

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Abstract  

The elemental composition of human hair obtained from different studies at Surrey University over a period of 25 years has been recorded and forms part of a database, for biological and environmental samples, which is being developed. Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), using reactor neutrons, was the principal method employed and from which reported data are presented.Elemental concentrations of Br, Ca, Ce, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, F, Fe, Hf, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc, Se, V and Zn were obtained and recorded in the database. Chronological variations in two sets of subjects separated by a period of time of 16 years are also given. Variations in the concentration values of some elements related to the state of health and disease were reported for hair samples collected from subjects suffering from manic depression, senile dementia and breast cancer. Concentration values of some elements with relation to the nationality of subjects from Bulgaria, England, Kenya, Nigeria and Wales are presented and compared. This study is part of on-going research in the analysis of biomedical and bioenvironmental materials. The database is still in its infancy.

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Abstract  

The number of children reporting rhinitis by month is compared with air pollutant concentrations in Lisbon, where they live and attend school. INAA, ionic exchange chromatography and data accessed through the internet were statistically processed with the children rhinitis data. Association between rhinitis and atmospheric variables are processed using Spearman non-parametric statistics and principal component analysis. It is pointed out that traffic, soil resuspension from traffic, meteorological conditions, and industry air pollutants contribute to respiratory trends. Ir (Pt group), a vehicle catalyst, may have some contribution.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: K. Inn, Zhichao Lin, Zhongyu Wu, C. McMahon, J. Filliben, P. Krey, M. Feiner, Chung-King Liu, R. Holloway, J. Harvey, I. Larsen, T. Beasley, C. Huh, S. Morton, D. McCurdy, P. Germain, J. Handl, M. Yamamoto, B. Warren, T. Bates, A. Holms, B. Harvey, D. Popplewell, M. Woods, S. Jerome, K. Odell, P. Young, and I. Croudace

Abstract  

In 1977, the Low-level Working Group of the International Committee on Radionuclide Metrology met in Boston, MA (USA) to define the characteristics of a new set of environmental radioactivity reference materials. These reference materials were to provide the radiochemist with the same analytical challenges faced when assaying environmental samples. It was decided that radionuclide bearing natural materials should be collected from sites where there had been sufficient time for natural processes to redistribute the various chemically different species of the radionuclides. Over the succeeding years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in cooperation with other highly experienced laboratories, certified and issued a number of these as low-level radioactivity Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) for fission and activation product and actinide concentrations. The experience of certifying these SRMs has given NIST the opportunity to compare radioanalytical methods and learn of their limitations. NIST convened an international workshop in 1994 to define the natural-matrix radionuclide SRM needs for ocean studies. The highest priorities proposed at the workshop were for sediment, shellfish, seaweed, fish flesh and water matrix SRMs certified for mBq per sample concentrations of 90 Sr, 137 Cs and 239 Pu + 240 Pu. The most recent low-level environmental radionuclide SRM issued by NIST, Ocean Sediment (SRM 4357) has certified and uncertified values for the following 22 radionuclides: 40 K, 90 Sr, 129 I, 137 Cs, 155 Eu, 210 Pb, 210 Po, 212 Pb, 214 Bi, 226 Ra, 228 Ra, 228 Th, 230 Th, 232 Th, 234 U, 235 U, 237 Np, 238 U, 238 Pu, 239 Pu + 240 Pu, and 241 Am. The uncertainties for a number of the certified radionuclides are non-symmetrical and relatively large because of the non-normal distribution of reported values. NIST is continuing its efforts to provide the ocean studies community with additional natural matrix radionuclide SRMs. The freeze-dried shellfish flesh matrix has been prepared and recently sent to participating laboratories for analysis and we anticipate receiving radioanalytical results in 2000. The research and development work at NIST produce well characterized SRMs that provide the world's environment-studies community with an important foundation component for radionuclide metrology.

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