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Abstract  

In recent years, environmental concerns regarding antimony have grown considerably due to anthropogenic processes that have resulted in increasing concentration of Sb in the environment, and also because of its impacts and possible adverse effects to living organisms. Several techniques have been used, to obtain reliable results for Sb, since Sb is present at low level concentration, requiring analytical instrumentation with low detection limits. The neutron activation analysis (NAA) technique has a high metrological level for the determination of several elements in different matrices. However, Sb determination in environmental and biological samples presents some analytical difficulties due to its low concentrations and gamma ray spectrum interferences. The objective of this research was to study on Sb determination in environmental reference materials by NAA. Ten environmental reference materials were selected and analyzed using long period irradiation at IEA-R1 research nuclear reactor. The induced gamma activities of 122Sb and 124Sb were measured. Relative errors of the results demonstrated that the accuracy depends mainly on Sb radioisotope measured, the decay time for counting and the sample composition.

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Abstract  

The Amblyomma cajennense tick species is considered one of the most important and widespread species in Brazil. It salivary secretion has been a target of several studies in biocenology, as the vector of diseases and in investigations related to antihemostatic properties and antitumor. To complement this investigation, neutron activation analysis (NAA) was applied to determine concentrations of elements in saliva samples of this tick species. The saliva samples (50–554 μL) were collected at Butantan Institute (São Paulo city, Brazil) and they were investigated using the IEA-R1 nuclear reactor at IPEN/CNEN-SP-Brazil. These data were compared with the values established for Amblyomma americanum and Amblyomma variegatum species emphasizing agreement only for Cl, K and Na with the A. americanum species, suggesting similarities in the mechanisms that regulate the osmotic pressure in this hematophagous animal. The knowledge of these limits contributes for tick saliva characterization as well as for the understanding of the many physiological processes, especially those related to salivary secretion.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: Cibele Zamboni, Sabrina Metairon, Laura Oliveira, Simone Simons, A. Chudzinski-Tavassi, and Daniella Oliveira

Abstract  

The determination of elemental concentrations for Br, Ca, Cl, Fe, K, Mg, Na, S, Sr, and Zn in blood samples from White New Zealand rabbits was performed applying the NAA technique. Twenty whole blood samples (12 male and 8 female) collected in research centers from Brazil (Aggeu Magalhães in Recife and Butantan Institute in São Paulo) were investigated, using the IEA-R1 nuclear reactor at IPEN/CNEN-SP-Brazil. These data can be used as references to perform biochemistry analyses in veterinary medicine using small quantities of whole blood (100–400 μL), simplifying the collection and the preparation of biological samples (it is not necessary to perform the serum separation nor to use specific reactants). Furthermore, the knowledge of the biochemical values in blood allows us to check the similarities with the blood estimations in human beings, which is an important condition for selecting laboratory animals. Finally, these data suggest a great similarity of the inorganic tissue profile of rabbits (White New Zealand) and humans.

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Abstract  

The pneumatic fast transfer system position at KAMINI reactor, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, India was characterized by determining the epithermal neutron flux shape factor (α) and the sub-cadmium to epithermal neutron flux ratio (f) for k 0-based Neutron Activation Analysis (k 0-NAA). For determination of α value, bare, Cd-ratio and Cd-cover methods were employed using dual and multi monitors namely Au, Zr and Zn. For calculation of f, Au and Zr monitors were used in the case of bare method and Au monitor was used for cadmium ratio and cadmium cover methods. The determined α-value of PFTS indicated a hard epithermal neutron spectrum and the f value indicated about 96 % thermal neutron component. For validation of k 0-NAA method, reference materials namely NIST SRM 1646a (Estuarine Sediment) and BCS Nb-stabilized Stainless Steel (BCS/SS No.261/1) were analyzed. The percentage errors of the determined concentration values of elements were within ±5 % with respect to the certified values and the Z-score values at 95 % confidence level were within ±2 in most of the cases.

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Abstract  

In this study, bromine (Br), chlorine (Cl), potassium (K) and sodium (Na) were measured in the blood of Brazilian inhabitants from Southeast (S) and Northeast (N) regions. A reference range was established as a function of sex and considering lifestyle factors (non-smokers and non- drinkers). For both regions lower values of K were found in females when compared to males and lower values of Na were found in males compared to females. Increasing trends for Na and Br were observed in the Northeast region.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: Caijin Xiao, Guiying Zhang, Donghui Huang, Bangfa Ni, Cunxiong Liu, Yali Qin, Hongchao Sun, Pingsheng Wang, and Weizhi Tian

Abstract  

A total of 178 aerosol samples in two size fractions, PM10-2.5 (coarse) and PM2.5 (fine), were collected on nucleopore films using a Gent stacked filter unit sampler at the Graduate School of China Nuclear Industrial Group during May 2007 to November of 2009. Black carbon was determined by a reflectometer. A total of 16 elements, Mg, Al, S, Si, P, Cl, Ca, K, Ti, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As and Pb, were determined by Particle Induced X-ray Emission. Mg, Al, Ca, K and Mn were also determined by Neutron Activation Analysis. Concentrations of all these elements were used to identify possible pollution sources and directions of the airborne particulate matter by means of softwares PMF and CPF. Some extraordinary events, such as sandstorms, firework and transboundary fire smoke were pinpointed by a combination of time series of multielement, relevant meteorological data and softwares Wind rose, Hysplit, and Google earth.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: John Bennett, Mitsuru Ebihara, Tsuyoshi Tanaka, Paul Armishaw, Raluca Iavetz, Vu Cao, Syed Hossain, Donghui Huang, Sutisna, and Nazaratul Salim

Abstract  

Eight neutron activation analysis research groups from seven countries have participated in a trial proficiency test under the auspices of the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia. Three stream sediment reference materials were used in the test. A high degree of proficiency was found in the quantification of Co and Sc and more than 20 elements were well quantified by the majority of laboratories. The results support the use of neutron activation analysis, as practised by the participants, for geochemical mapping. The data produced in this study may provide an opportunity to improve the characterisation of the three reference materials.

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Abstract  

This review describes how the original `standardless' (absolute and single-comparator) NAA-calibration methods, introduced in the mid-1960s, were stepwise upgraded with respect to their accuracy and manageability, leading to the launching of the k 0-method in the mid 1970s. Next, an account is given of the achievements in the continuous development of the k 0-standardization of NAA up to the present. Topics highlighted are:the k 0 -data library, the development of dedicated calibration procedures, extensions and limitations, computerization and quality control/assurance. Finally, a short outline is given of the international dissemination of the k 0-methodology.

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Abstract  

The effects of acids on the removal of impurity from 2N grade silica have been studied using five leaching acids: 0.2 M-oxalic acid (pH 1.5 and 2.5), c-aqua regia, 2.5%—HCl/HF, and 1%—HNO3/HF. The presence of 39 impurities in the 2N grade silica and the reference material (RM, 5N grade silica) were investigated by neutron activation analysis (NAA), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) methods. Major impurities of the 2N silica were Al, K, Fe, Na, Ti, Ca, Mg and P. The fractions of the eight major impurities were 99.2% and 90.9% of total impurity in the 2N and RM silica, respectively. Among the leaching acids, almost all of the major impurities were removed effectively by the 2.5% HCl/HF leaching acid. All the major impurities, except for phosphorous, as well as 21 minor and trace impurities could be determined by the NAA.

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Abstract  

A method for the preconcentration of Cu(II) by cloud point extraction (CPE) followed by its determination using neutron activation analysis (NAA) was developed. The method involves the use of a nonionic surfactant, namely PONPE-7.5, and a chelating agent 1-(2-pyridylazo)-2-naphthol (PAN). The phase diagram of the surfactant was constructed and the effects of different additives on the cloud point were investigated. Factors, such as the solution pH, ionic strength, temperature, and concentrations of chelating agent and surfactant, which can influence the extraction efficiency of the metal, were optimized. The copper(II) chelate was extracted into a surfactant-rich phase of small volume with a recovery of nearly 100% and a preconcentration factor of 60. The small volume of the surfactant-rich phase obtained complies with the green chemistry concept, allowing the design of extraction procedures having lower toxicity than those using organic solvents. The method was applied to tap water samples.

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