Analytical & Advisory Services Division

Trace Elements Section

About the Section

The Trace Elements Section was established on 2 July 2003 to centralise all human and physical resources for the determinations of trace elements within the Headquarters of the Government Laboratory. The Section mainly provides analytical support to Environmental Chemistry Sections and Food Safety Sections for elemental analysis.

Responsibilities

The Section performs elemental determinations on environmental monitoring programmes, environmental litigations and food contaminations on behalf of the aforesaid Sections within the Headquarters of the Government Laboratory.

Quality Assurance

About 20% of samples are for quality control purpose.

The Section participates on a regular basis in the following inter-laboratory comparison exercises:

  • Wageningen Evaluating Programs for Analytical Laboratories
    International Plant-Analytical Exchange (IPE)
    International Soil-Analytical Exchange (ISE)
    International Sediment Exchange for Tests on Organic Contaminants (SETOC)
  • Environmental Resource Associates (ERA) Proficiency Testing Study
  • Quasimeme Laboratory Performance Studies
  • World Meteorological Organisation—Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO-GAW)
  • United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Scheme (NEQAS)
  • Food Analysis Performance Assessment Scheme (FAPAS)

Key Instruments

The following instruments are used routinely by the Section:

  • Inductively coupled plasma — quadrupole mass spectrometer
  • Inductively coupled plasma — quadrupole mass spectrometers with various hyphenated techniques:
    Gas chromatography
    High performance liquid chromatography
    Laser ablation
  • High resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer
  • Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer
  • Atomic absorption spectrometers with various atomisation techniques:
    Cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometer
    Flame atomic absorption spectrometer
    Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer
Inductively coupled plasma — quadrupole mass spectrometer

Inductively coupled plasma — quadrupole mass spectrometer

Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer

Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer

High resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

High resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

Targets and Key Indicators

Please refer to the relevant Environmental Chemistry Sections and Food Safety Sections for details.