Method 1637

Determination of Trace Elements in Ambient Waters by Off-Line Chelation Preconcentration and Stabilized Temperature Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption

This method provides procedures for the determination of total recoverable and/or dissolved cadmium and lead in ambient waters at EPA water quality criteria (WQC) levels using off-line chelation preconcentration and stabilized temperature graphite furnace atomic absorption (GFAA) detection. This method is accompanied by Method 1669: Sampling Ambient Water for Determination of Trace Metals at EPA Water Quality Criteria Levels (Sampling Method). The sampling method is necessary to preclude contamination during the sampling process. This method is not intended for determination of cadmium and lead at concentrations normally found in treated and untreated discharges from industrial facilities. Existing regulations typically limit concentrations in industrial discharges to the mid- to high part-per-billion (ppb) range, whereas ambient metals concentrations are normally in the low part-per-trillion (ppt) range.

(EPA 821/R-96-004)


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Method Data

Hold Times, Preservatives, Preps, Collection, Analytical & Documentation
Holding Time:   Samples must be acid preserved for at least 48 hours and held at 0-4°C after sampling and prior to analysis. If properly preserved, samples may be held for up to 6 months from sampling to analysis.
Preservatives:   Add pre-tested 10% HNO3 to pH < 2. For samples at neutral pH add approximately 5 mL of 10% HNO3. For dissolved Cd or Pb, samples are filtered through a 0.45 mm capsule filter in the field. Acid preservation of samples may be performed in the field or in the laboratory.
Required Preps:   Cleaned, pre-tested fluoropolymer (FEP, PTFE), conventional or linear polyethylene, polycarbonate or polypropylene bottles
Collection Method:   EPA Method 1669
Analytical Methodology:   Off-line chelation preconcentration and stabilized temperature graphite furnace atomic absorption detection
Documentation:   1637

Analyte List*

Analyte Formula CAS Number Detection Limit

* The analytes and detection limits listed for each method represent the typical detection limits and analytes reported for that particular method. Keep in mind that analyte lists may vary from laboratory to laboratory. Detection limits may also vary from lab to lab and are dependent upon the sample size, matrix, and any interferences that may be present in the sample.