Metals are naturally-occurring substances that conduct electricity, have a metallic luster, are malleable and form cations. They can adversely affect human health in elevated doses – causing organ, neurological and reproductive damage and an increased risk of cancer. The toxicity relating to metals depends on their form in the environment.
For environmental analysis, the term metals is expanded to include semi-metals and metalloids. They can be found in high concentrations in the environment because of:
- Industrial activity
- Chemical waste disposal
- Leaded gasoline
- Leaching from acid rain
- Atmospheric deposition
The most commonly analyzed metals are arsenic, copper, chromium, nickel, silver, selenium and mercury.
SGS metals and inorganics testing services
We provide a full-range of testing services for metals and inorganic compounds. The process usually requires a digestion procedure to convert the metals into a soluble form. This is done using a variety of acid mixtures and other chemicals.
Analysis is then performed using one of the following techniques:
- Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES)
- Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)
- Atomic Absorption (Flame or Graphite Furnace)
- Cold-Vapor Atomic Absorption (CVAA)
- Ion Chromatography (IC)
- Cold Vapor Atomic Fluorescence (CVAFS)
Mercury is often done via a separate analysis using either CVAA or CVAFS.
Why choose SGS?
We have a global network of technical experts ready to help you select the correct methods for your metals and inorganics testing requirements. Selection will consider regulatory requirements, the required analytes and detection limits. Working with SGS will ensure testing and analysis is efficient and meets your data objectives.
For more information on metals and inorganics testing, contain your local SGS office.