Trace Elements in Biological Materials
High concentrations of arsenic and deficiency of selenium are supposed to be associated with various kinds of cancer in humans. Measuring the element content in body fluids, hair and nails provides information on the physiological effects and the chronic burden of these elements.
The ubiquity of trace elements leads to difficulties in the accurate quantification of the daily uptake. Even though the determination of various elements in the environment (in air, soil, water) and in food provides a measure for external exposure, it does not necessarily reflect the actual strain of an individual person.
Therefore measuring the concentrations in body fluids, in hair and nails increases the information about a supposed intake.
The levels in blood and urine reflect a short-term, whereas concentrations in hair and nails can reflect the long-term exposure.
In order to determine the trace element concentration precisely and accurately a powerful decomposition method is desirable.
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