Heavy metals occur naturally in our environment in various forms. We find them in airborne dust particles, minerals, rocks and soils. In addition, they can also be found in the ecosystem of humans. Under human influence the natural geo-biogeochemical cycle can be influenced and lead to increased exposure. For example, heavy metals end up in rivers and oceans, mobilize through mining, and also end up in our food through fertilizers.
Perhaps the largest source of emissions is the disposal of our waste. When burned and dumped, they can end up in our environment. Construction waste is also a major source of heavy metals. Metals are also taken up by plants and animals through the use of fertilizers. To counteract human exposure, we need to counteract the mobilization of heavy metals.
How are heavy metals measured?
Elevated concentrations of heavy metals are a known danger to all life forms. Therefore it is crucial that both consumer products and the supply lines and environment are checked for their presence.
A correct analysis starts by taking a representative sample. This can be done by filtering dust particles from the ambient air, or by taking a sample from food, waste, soil, etc. This is followed by a thorough analysis in the lab.
For the analysis of heavy metals one can also use the Bruker Nano Handheld XRF.
Elemental analysis of heavy metals using XRF
XRF is a rapid, non-destructive technique for elemental analysis of heavy metals in a variety of materials. A portable XRF device is ideal for screening any material or sample for hazardous levels of heavy metals.
Micro-XRF can map the concentration of metals in materials to better understand where they are accumulating. This technique is also of particular interest in the evaluation of biological samples.
Mining & exploration using handheld XRF analyzer
The Bruker handheld XRF is a fast and accurate tool for all aspects of mining and geo-exploration.
Examples of some mining applications for this XRF:
- Mineral exploration
- Geochemical testing and mapping
- Mining area or mine shaft
- Waste treatment and recovery of metals
- Ore grade monitoring
With the handheld XRF you can perform geochemical analysis directly on site in mines,on drill cores or on random samples. In doing so, you get real-time on-site analysis and increase productivity by reducing the lead time to results from days to seconds compared to laboratory analysis.
Would you like to know more about this Bruker HandHeld XRF? Then get in touch with us soon.