A total of 31 samples are analyzed by neutron activation analysis for magnesium, manganese, chromium, iron, cobalt, zinc, selenium, bromine, antimony, arsenic, tantalum, tellurium, mercury, nickel, copper, molybdenum, cadmium, silver, bismuth, iodine, uranium, gold, iridium, rubidium, sodium, potassium, cesium, chlorine, lanthanum, and scandium. Samples analyzed include coal miners' lungs, non- miners' lungs, coal dust, coal filters, rat lungs, tumorous and non- tumorous tissue, animal diets and asbestos minerals. Neutron activation analysis is found suitable for the measurement of trace elements in lung tissue samples. As many as 22 elements may be determined non-destructively. Acid decomposition techniques for lung tissue should be replaced by fusion technique to ensure complete decomposition of the sample.
NIOSH Technical Information, Division of Laboratories and Criteria Development, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio