Inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) may be used to determine trace elements in solution. The method is applicable to all of the elements listed below. With the exception of groundwater samples, all aqueous and solid matrices require acid digestion prior to analysis. Groundwater samples that have been prefiltered and acidified will not need acid digestion. Samples which are not digested require either an internal standard or should be matrixmatched with the standards. If either option is used, instrument software should be programmed to correct for intensity differences of the internal standard between samples and standards. 


Prior to analysis, samples must be solubilized or digested using the appropriate sample preparation methods (see Chapter Three). When analyzing groundwater samples for dissolved constituents, acid digestion is not necessary if the samples are filtered and acid preserved prior to analysis (refer to Sec. 1.1). 

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