Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 27(1), 29 (2011).

Isotope Ratio Analysis of Lead in Blood and Environmental Samples by Multi-collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry
Mai TAKAGI,* Jun YOSHINAGA,* Atsushi TANAKA,** and Haruhiko SEYAMA**
*Department of Environmental Studies, The University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8563, Japan
**National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
It is widely recognized that lead (Pb) affects children’s cognitive function, even at relatively low blood lead levels (<10 μg dL−1). The determination of the source of Pb in children is essential for effective risk management. The use of multi-collector ICPMS (MC-ICPMS) for isotope ratio measurements of Pb in environmental and biological samples was examined for this purpose. MC-ICPMS with an instrumental mass fractionation correction by Tl allowed accurate isotope ratio measurements of the Pb isotopic reference material NIST SRM 981. However, the presence of matrix elements (Al, Ca, Fe and Na) at more than 10 mg kg−1 in the sample solution significantly deteriorated the accuracy. The separation of Pb from the matrix is necessary for accurate measurements of the isotope ratio of Pb in environmental and biological samples. Bromide-complexation, followed by anion exchange was found to be satisfactory in terms of the recovery of Pb (90 to 104%) and the efficiency of matrix separation. The procedure was applied to a preliminary source analysis of Pb in the blood of Japanese children, and a significant contribution of indoor dust was demonstrated.