What are appropriate sample containers for the determination of low level metals?

Created by: Andrew White

Modified on: Wed, 6 Nov, 2019 at 11:34 AM


Sample containers for ultratrace metals analyses should be inert to the metals of interest.  Metals should not leach from the container, nor should any metals “stick” to the container walls.  Sample containers are “proofed” to ensure that they are not a source of metals themselves.


For ultra-trace testing of waters, containers and preservatives are proven free of metals to the part per trillion range.   Glass is not used for water samples because it contains significant levels of many metals. Similarly, acid preservatives can contain significant levels of metals. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is a common choice for sampling waters for trace metals. It is light, impermeable to water and resistant to breaking.  Different brands can contain some metals, however.  


Bureau Veritas Laboratories has exhaustively researched to find the cleanest HDPE containers and preservatives available.


Sample Collection – Ultra Trace Metals and Mercury

Sampling

Element

Groundwater

Surface

Water

Drinking Water

Sample Container

50  mL HDPE

50 mL HDPE

50 mL HDPE

Field Filtered

Yes

No

No

Preservative

HNO3

(to pH <2)

HNO3

(to pH <2)

HNO3

(to pH <2)

Min. Sample Size

20mL

20 mL

20 mL

Recommended Sample Size

50 mL

50 mL

50 mL

Hold Time

 days

60 days

60 days

Sample Container

50 mL HDPE

50 mL HDPE

50 mL HDPE

Dissolved Metals (filtered)

Yes

No

No

Preservative

HCl

(to pH <2)

HCl

(to pH <2)

HCl

(to pH <2)

Min. Sample Size

50mL

50 mL

50 mL

Recommended Sample Size

100 ml

100 ml

100 ml

Hold Time

28 days

28 days

28 days



A
Andrew is the author of this solution article.

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