Authors:G. Hall, N. Roach, U. Simmons, H. Cong, M-l. Lee and E. Cummings
We have constructed an external beam proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) system for trace element analysis of biological and environmental samples. Optimization of sample preparation and experimental PIXE set up has produced a rapid, accurate, sensitive, and reliable PIXE analysis procedure. The analytical procedure was evaluated using maternal scalp hair from pregnant women 16–19 weeks' gestation. The samples were irradiated with 3.5 MeV protons from the Rutgers Nuclear Physics Department's 8 MV Tandem FN Van de Graaff accelerator. The concentrations of the elements calcium (Ca) to cadmium (Cd) in hair are reported for 50 subjects. The analytical procedure is suitable for non-invasive clinical analysis for evaluation of nutritional states and for environmental exposure to toxic metals.