|Amir Liba*, Craig Jones*, Emmett Soffey*, Steve Wilbur*, Ryszard Gajek§, Flavia Wong§, Frank Barley§|
*Agilent Technologies, Inc., Wilmington, DE,
§California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA
Heavy metals such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), and mercury (Hg) are highly toxic to humans and must be determined at very low levels in biological fluids. Many laboratories involved in this field of analysis are replacing existing Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (GFAAS) instrumentation with Collision/Reaction Cell Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (CRC-ICP-MS).
CRC technology, such as the Octopole Reaction System (ORS) used in the Agilent 7500cx ICP-MS, has significantly improved the measurement of some clinically important analytes by removing the plasma and matrix based interferences that inhibit their analysis by conventional ICP-MS. Because the ORS can be operated in a single gas mode using helium, this facilitates the routine, multielement determination of trace level analytes in a complex matrix like whole blood. Additionally, for large scale screening programs, ICP-MS can be coupled to a sample introduction system that uses discrete sampling (DS) in order to boost sample throughput.
In this paper, we demonstrate the capabilities of the Agilent 7500cx ORS operating in helium mode and coupled to an Integrated Sample Introduction System-Discrete Sampling (ISIS-DS) device for the determination of As, Cd, Hg and Pb in a large number of blood samples. Data obtained for over 350 whole blood samples during the initial validation of the new method will be presented, including run times, method detection limits and verification against standard reference materials.