Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract The method of proton particle-induced X-ray emission (proton PIXE) has been employed to study the trace element composition of human fingernails. The samples were colleted from 51 subjects randomly selected from a working community of about 500 adults and they were analyzed by the thick-target external beam technique of the PIXE method. The samples were exposed to the proton beam as 1-mm thick pellets and irradiated with 2 MeV protons having 20 nA beam intensity. For 40 μC irradiations, the concentration of fourteen elements, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Br, Rb, Sr and Pb, were measured by comparison with a calibration obtained from the NBS orchard leaf standard (SRM 1571). Some anomalous cases have been revealed from this study and they are attributed to environmental factors. The frequency distributions of the elements are presented and the results compared with available data.
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