Diving in with ICP-Mass Spectrometry
The intent of this project is to quantitatively analyze the human impact on systems of water and the environment, specifically looking at samples around locations suspected of higher pollution. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) is an analytical technique able to detect low concentrations of metal/nonmetal ions with high sensitivity. Samples were collected in Oak Ridge, Norris, and Gallatin, TN. Nitric acid was used to stabilize the metal/nonmetal ions in tap water and the natural water samples collected until analyzed via ICPMS. It is predicted that natural water sampled near the sources of anticipated pollution will have a higher concentration of heavy metal ions than the tap water or water sampled further away from said sources.