Friday, 13 November 2009
The accumulation and effects of nutrients and heavy metals introduced into natural systems by human activity continues to be a major issue in environmental science. Human activity tends to change the location, concentration, and form of heavy metals. Oysters in coastal systems can accumulate metals from water and through ingestion of food; these are concentrated in the shell and in soft tissues. Metal concentrations in soft (edible) tissues may pose threats to consumers of oysters. Heavy metal concentrations were measured in tissues and shells of oysters from Grand Bay, MS and Apalachicola Bay, FL using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), a non-intrusive, inexpensive, rapid, and safe technique for detection of trace elements in various media. LIBS has distinct advantages over other established techniques in that no sample preparation is required and rapid multiple elemental analysis can take place. A rapid-pulse Nd:YAG laser was used to carry out the LIBS measurements.
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