Quantitative trace element analysis of human nails with external beam PIXE
Lapatto, R.; Hietamäki, A.; Räisänen, J.
Biological Trace Element Research 19(3): 161-170
ISSN/ISBN: 0163-4984 PMID: 2484384 DOI: 10.1007/bf02924293
External beam PIXE (Particle Induced X-ray Emission) analysis with a proton beam of 2.4 MeV was used to study trace element concentrations in human nails. The suitability of PIXE analysis regarding nail samples without any pretreatment besides washing was investigated. The main emphasis has been on the ability to obtain absolute concentration values and a new accurate method for nail sample standardization has been developed. Concentration values for the elements Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, Br, and Pb were determined from human nail samples. A comparison was made with nail samples taken from different fingers and toes to monitor intraindividual variation, and nails of different healthy individuals to get a view of the interindividual differences. The concentrations were also measured in relation to time in order to observe any possible short-term changes. The results are compared with the previous studies reported in the literature. The nail analysis is also compared to hair analysis in terms of detection limits, number of elements determinable, and standardization of the results.