Paper No. 14
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
X-RAY FLUORESCENCE (XRF) SPECTROMETRY: A RAPID AND RELIABLE METHOD TO MONITOR THE OCCURRENCE OF HEAVY METALS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) works by finding the spectral signature of elements in solid samples. XRF technique is non-destructive and useful because it can be used to preliminarily detect elements that are potentially hazardous, at no additional cost. Some undesirable elements such as As, Pb, Cd, Mo and radioisotopes are found in the environment concentrated in the top soils, rock formations, biomass and in the air which could be screened by XRF relatively quicker than the other conventional wet chemistry method. In this study, a Niton's hand-held XRF device was used both in laboratory and in field to investigate the elemental footprint in various environmental samples including urban soils, country soils, various rock formations, beach sands, ambient air particulates and aglae biomass. Within couple of minutes, elemental abundance can be examined and quantified. Due to portability of the device, one can obtain a large number of in situ data. Initial results acquired via XRF can serve to determine if further, more accurate testing is merited. Increasing the XRF integration time of the sample will detect more elements and enhance the quantification of the data. In situ analysis of the solids will measure lower concentrations than laboratory samples enhanced by sieving, tight packing, and suitable thickness. A set of reference materials and internal standards were run before and after a batch run to maintain the QA and QC of the entire run. The standard reference materials that were run with every batch were SiO2 (99.95%), CCRMP TILL-4, NIST 2709a, NIST 2780 and RCRA (As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Pb, Se, & Ag). The experiment was repeated if elemental values of the reference materials vary more than 5% of their reported value. X-ray sampling preparation cups with Mylar film were used for all laboratory analyses. The study reports geochemical profiling of rock formations from different geologic time scale in Rosendale area of New York. Heavy metals in urban soils of New York City parks and beach sands of Jamaica Bay were obtained in situ and field analyses. The preliminary results obtained by this method give direction for future investigation. By using XRF technology, we can acquire results rapidly and protect the environment from being adversely affected.