Chromium isotope ratio measurements in environmental matrices by MC-ICP-MS
An analytical procedure consisting of high pressure/temperature acid digestion using an UltraCLAVE system and a one pass, single column matrix separation using DOWEX AG 1X8 anion exchange resin was applied to the determination of Cr concentrations and δ53Cr in chromites, soils, and biological matrices (epiphytic lichens and mosses) using a combination of ICP-SFMS and MC-ICP-MS. The overall reproducibility of the method was assessed by replicate preparation and Cr isotope ratio measurements performed by different operators in multiple analytical sessions over a few months and was found to be 0.11‰ (2σ). The accuracy was evaluated using commercially available reference materials for which measured data were compared with certified values (for Cr concentrations) and previously published results (for isotope data). The results demonstrate a uniform Cr isotope composition in soil depth profiles sampled in different urban environments. A strong negative correlation between δ53Cr and Cr concentrations in lichens and mosses indicates that airborne Cr from local anthropogenic source(s) is depleted in heavy isotopes.