This is the twenty-sixth annual review published in JAAS on the application of atomic spectrometry to the chemical analysis of environmental samples. This Update refers to papers published approximately between September 2009 and August 2010 and continues the series of Atomic Spectrometry Updates in Environmental Analysis that should be read in conjunction with other related reviews in the series.2–6 In the analysis of air, work is ongoing in developing new and existing air sampler devices with an increasing focus on sampling nanoparticles. Determination of mercury in the atmosphere remains a focus for many research groups and this year has seen a renewed interest in sampling and analysis of respirable silica. There is a growing interest in measuring emissions from transport sources such as aviation and shipping. In the field of water analysis, as in previous years, the main areas of activity are the development of preconcentration and extraction procedures and elemental speciation protocols. In the field of soil, plant and related materials analysis, the past year has seen a marked increase in publications featuring LIBS. The technique now appears well established for screening purposes but has not yet convinced detractors of its suitability for use in quantitative multi-element analysis. There is a growing body of literature examining species stability during sample pre-treatment and extraction. Slurry sampling has experienced renewed interest this year. In the field of geological analysis, as in previous years, considerable effort is being spent not only on the production, characterization and certification of new geological reference materials, but also on enhancing the certification of existing reference materials and the development of reference materials with assigned elemental isotopic ratios. Laser ablation continues to go from strength to strength in being adopted as a solid sampling tool within the geochemical community with a growing interest in coupling laser ablation systems to multicollector ICP-MS systems for in situ isotopic analysis. Feedback on this review is most welcome and the lead author can be contacted using the email address provided.
- atomic spectrometry
- environmental samples