Phase III Testing Is Here: What you Need to Know About Heavy Metals

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As we all know, phase III adds heavy metals to the state’s required testing list.  Many labs had to add and calibrate additional equipment. Not all equipment is the same, nor does it include the same testing methodologies.  You should ask your lab how they are testing for heavy metals. Here is the difference:


(Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy vs Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy)

ICPMS is more sensitive and standard for fast multielement determination of heavy metals in trace and ultra trace concentrations in different sample matrices. The ICPMS allows for automated processing of heavy metal samples. The process requires digestion prior to analysis – a microwave digestor is favored over acid digestor, for safety and sensitivity reasons. Special steps are taken to allow for analysis of mercury.

AAS is less sensitive, though standard for the wine, agriculture and wastewater industries. While cheaper, it does not allow for automated processing of analysis, it must be manually attended.  A major drawback is low sensitivity. There are also limitations to the kinds of elements an AAS can detect, especially for mercury. AAS also requires a larger amount of sample volume.

Sonoma Lab Works is proud to be utilizing a state-of-the-art Shimadzu ICPMS 2030.

Sonoma Lab Works is a BCC-licensed California testing lab. LIC: C8-17-0000012-TEMP
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