Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract An isotope dilution mass spectrometric (IDMS) method, using the formation of positive thermal ions, was developed for Cr(III) and Cr(VI) speciation in aerosol particles. Cr(III) and Cr(VI) spike species, enriched in 53Cr, were applied for the isotope dilution step. After leaching of filter collected aerosol samples by an alkaline solution at pH 13, species separation was carried out by extraction with a liquid anion exchanger in methyl isobutyl ketone. Cr(VI) in the organic phase was re-extracted into an ammoniacal solution and chromium was then isolated from both fractions of species by electrodeposition. Detection limits of 30 pg/m3 for Cr(III) and of 8 pg/m3 for Cr(VI) were achieved in atmospheric aerosols for volumes of air samples of about 120 m3. These low detection limits allowed the determination of chromium species in continental aerosol particles in dependence on different seasons. The Cr(III) /Cr(VI) ratio was always found to be about 0.3 whereas dust from soil erosion, which is probably the primary source of chromium in the atmosphere, showed higher ratios. This indicates that chromium is oxidized in the atmosphere. The accuracy of the method was demonstrated in two interlaboratory comparisons of Cr(VI) determinations in welding dust samples. The IDMS method also contributed to the certification of a corresponding standard reference material organized by the Standard Reference Bureau of the European Union. Chromium speciation, including the determination of elemental chromium Cr(0), was carried out in aerosols of different welding processes for stainless steel. These analyses showed distinct differences in the distribution of chromium species in the welding process and can be used as an exact calibration method for routine methods in this important field of monitoring corresponding working places.
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