In human nutrition research, nuclear analytical techniques, particularly neutron activation analysis (NAA), are used mainly for thein vitro study of trace elements. According to work sponsored by the IAEA, up to 15 trace elements and 5 minor elements of nutritional interest may be determined in biological materials by NAA with good accuracy and precision. A programme is described in which NAA was used for the determination of 14 trace elements and one minor element in human milk. NAA also plays an important role in the certification of reference materials for nutritional studies.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has many projects and activities supporting the utilization of nuclear research reactors for neutron activation analysis (NAA). Globally the number of operating nuclear research reactors has been in decline since about 1975. This contrasts with the situation in developing countries where the numbers show a modest increase over the same period. This paper reviews the current status of NAA as seen from the particular perspective of IAEA programs involving studies of biological and environmental specimens. Some of the areas in which NAA is maintaining its role as a competitive technique are briefly reviewed.
A new biological reference material, which is representative of diets consumed in Finland, has been characterized by means of an intercomparison exercise conducted by the IAEA in the second half of 1985 and in 1986. Results for 35 elements received from 79 participants in 33 countries have been evaluated. A certificate of analysis has been issued with provisional certified values for 22 elements and information values for 2 elements. Neutron activation analysis (NAA) provided approximately one third of all the results reported. Instrumental NAA was used approximately 5 times as frequently as radiochemical NAA. Overall, NAA played an important role in providing useful data for the following 20 elements: Al, As, Br, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, F, Fe, Hg, I, K, Mn, Mo, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc, Se and Zn. In comparison with the main competing non-nuclear method (usually atomic absorption spectrometry), NAA showed a larger dispersion of results for Cd, Cu, K, and Mg, and a smaller degree of dispersion for Co, Cr, Hg, and Se.
Detailed results are presented in this paper for all analytical quality control samples distributed by the IAEA including
a new animal muscle intercomparison material of very low chromium content, and an attempt is made to draw some conclusions
regarding likely sources of analytical error.
A powdered intercomparison material for trace element studies was prepared from human scalp hair and distributed to more than
100 laboratories of which 66 reported results for altogether more than 40 elements. By statistical evaluation of these data
certified concentration values were derived for 20 elements, namely As, Au, Br, Ca, Cd, Cl, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mg, Mn, Na,
Pb, S, Sb, Se, Sr and Zn. The data also made it possible to compare different methods of analysis and to judge the value of
different levels of experience on the part of the analyst concerned; these comparisons are presented here with special reference
to the elements As, Cd, Hg, Pb and Sb.
The G-1 intercomparison is one of the first undertakings of the International Atomic Energy Agency for the investigation of the performance of the routinely used evaluating programs for gamma ray spectra of semiconductor detectors. The details and the conclusions of this procedure are presented.
The applicability of the INIS database for literature retrieval on nuclear-related analytical techniques [e.g. neutron activation analysis (NAA), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE)] has been studied. There exist about 9700 documents on NAA and other forms of activation analysis, about 3500 documents on XRF and about 1200 documents on PIXE in the database collected from 1976 until July 1988. They cover a variety of elements and matrices in the fields of biology, geochemistry and the physical sciences. Some technical notes and comments on the practical use of this database are also included.
Authors:Y. Muramatsu, R. Ogris, F. Reichel and R. Parr
A simple destructive neutron activation method for the determination of Hg and Se has been developed. The irradiated, sample is heated in a stream of oxygen at 1000°C, in a quartz tube in which two charcoal traps are positioned. The evaporated Hg, Se and contaminants such as Br are collected in the first charcoal trap. Only Hg is removed to the second trap by heating the first one at 750°C in a stream of nitrogen. The charcoal traps are them measured with a Ge(Li) detector. The analytical results obtained by this method for Hg and Se in several biological standard reference materials showed good agreement with the certified values.
Authors:T. Mumcu, I. Gökmen, A. Gökmen, R. Parr and N. Aras
The minor and trace element content of diet samples from two different social population groups were determined. Samples were prepared by duplicate portion technique by colecting everything 16 subjects ate and drank during a 3-day period. Samples were homogenized, freeze-dried and elemental concentrations of Br, Co, Cr, Cs, Fe, K, Na, Rb, Sc, Se and Zn were determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis. Elemental concentrations and daily dietary intake of the elements were compared with the diets of other nations.
Authors:J. Kučera, G. Iyengar, Z. Řanda and R. Parr
Samples of diets from China, Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan and Philippines were analyzed using epithermal and radiochemical
neutron activation analysis (ENAA and RNAA, respectively) within the framework of the IAEA project “Reference Asian Man”.
The RNAA procedure was based on alkaline-oxidative fusion followed by extraction of elemental iodine in chloroform. The analytical
methods employed are discussed in terms of detection limits and uncertainties of the results obtained. For quality control
purposes a number of NIST biological reference materials, namely diets and foods were analyzed. Results for the diet samples
indicate that achieving the WHO recommended daily allowance for iodine may be a problem in most of the above given countries.