EPA Method 200.7

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EPA Method 200.7:
Determination of Metals and Trace Elements in Water and Wastes by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Spectrometry

Except for the determination of dissolved analytes, aqueous samples are acid preserved prior to sample processing. For the analysis of dissolved analytes, an acidified portion of the filtrate is analyzed directly. For the determination of total recoverable analytes in aqueous samples containing particulate material as well as solid wastes, samples are subjected to acid pretreatment with nitric and hydrochloric acids and gentle refluxing prior to analysis. The method involves multi-element determination using sequential or simultaneous instruments. The instruments measure characteristic atomic-line emission spectra by optical spectrometry. Sample solutions are nebulized and the resulting aerosol is transported to the plasma torch. Element specific emission spectra are produced by a radio-frequency inductively coupled plasma. The spectra are dispersed by a grating spectrometer and the intensities of the lines are monitored at specific wavelengths by a photosensitive device. Photocurrents from the photosensitive device are processed and controlled by a computer system. A background correction technique is required to compensate for variable background contribution to the determination of the analytes. Background must be measured adjacent to analyte lines on samples during analysis. Various interferences are discussed and must be considered and addressed appropriately.

This method determines 31 analytes, in the dissolved fraction of aqueous samples and for the measurement of total-recoverable analytes in water, wastewater, and solid wastes. Total-recoverable determination data for aqueous samples should be reported as total (dissolved + suspended fractions) metal data.

Methods for the Determination of Metals in Environmental Samples, Supplement 1 (EPA/600/R-94/111)

I. SPECTRAL INTERFERENCES: (1) Background emmission or stray light. (2) Spectral overlap of emissions.II. PHYSICAL INTERFERENCES: High viscosity or high particulate levels of sample can clog nebulizer.III. CHEMICAL INTERFERENCES: (1) Compound formation. (2) Ionization. (3) Solute-vaporization.IV. MEMORY INTERFERENCES: Carry-over from sample.

QC Requirements:
The minimum QC requirements consist of an initial demonstration of laboratory capability and on-going checks. The initial demonstration includes determining the linear dynamic range (LDR) for each wavelength utilized, determining the method detection limit (MDL) for each analyte, and analyzing a quality control sample (QCS). On-going checks include periodic analysis of laboratory reagent blanks (LRB), laboratory fortified blanks (LFB), instrument performance check solutions (IPC), calibration blanks (CB), spectral interference check solutions (SIC), and laboratory fortified matrices (LFM).

Maximum Holding Time:
6 Months



Unless otherwise noted, the analytical range extends from the laboratory-determined MDL to the upper limit of the linear dynamic range.

Data collected from an interlaboratory study conducted using EPA Method 200.7. See: Maxfield, R. & B. Mindax. 1985. EPA Method Study 27, Method 200.7 (Trace Metals by ICP). EPA-600/S4-85/05. National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Va.

The EDLs are estimated 3-sigma instrumental detection limits that were described in "EPA Method Study 27, Method 200.7 Trace Metals by ICP" [November 1983] (Available from National Technical Information Service as PB 85-248-656).

Revision Number:
Revision 4.4, 1994

Test Description:
Metals and Trace Ele

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Date Issued:

Instrument used for this test: