Multi-element analysis of urine using dynamic reaction cell inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-DRC-MS) — A practical application

Renata Brodzka 1, 2  ,  
Department of Toxicology and Carcinogenesis, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
Department of Toxicology and Cancerogenesis, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, św. Teresy 8, 91-348, Łódź, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2013;26(2):302–312
Objectives: The method for the determination of As, Al, Cd, Ni, Pb (toxic elements) and Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn (essential elements) in human urine by the use of Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (quadrupole ICP-MS DRCe Elan, Perkin Elmer) with the dynamic reaction cell (DRC) was developed. Materials and Methods: The method has been applied for multi-element analysis of the urine of 16 non-exposed healthy volunteers and 27 workers employed in a copper smelter. The analysis was conducted after initial 10-fold dilution of the urine samples with 0,1% nitric acid. Rhodium was used as an internal standard. The method validation parameters such as detection limit, sensitivity, precision were described for all elements. Accuracy of the method was checked by the regular use of certified reference materials ClinCheck®-Control Urine (Recipe) as well as by participation of the laboratory in the German External Quality Assessment Scheme (G-EQUAS). Results: The detection limits (DL 3s) of the applied method were 0.025, 0.007, 0.002, 0.004, 0.004, 0.086, 0.037, 0.009, 0.016, 0.008, 0.064 (μg/l) for Al, As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn in urine, respectively. For each element linearity with correlation coefficient of at least 0.999 was determined. Spectral interferences from some of the ions were removed using DRC-e with addition of alternative gas: methane for cobalt, copper, cadmium, chromium, iron, manganese, nickel and rhodium, and oxygen for arsenic. Conclusions: The developed method allows to determine simultaneously eleven elements in the urine with low detection limits, high sensitivity and good accuracy. Moreover, the method is appropriate for the assessment of both environmental and occupational exposure.