HEAVY METALS TESTING

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Instrumentation

For this testing, Cannalytics uses the Shimadzu ICPMS-2030, incorporating the  ICPMS-2030 software with two assistant functions that simplify analysis. The Development Assistant simplifies the process of developing analytical methods whereas the Diagnosis Assistant automatically diagnoses spectral interference. Together, they provide analytical results with exceptionally high reliability and unparalleled ease-of-operation. In addition to the user-friendly software, a unique hardware system developed by Shimadzu, including the proprietary mini-torch, results in a reduction of the consumption of argon gas and electricity. Furthermore, the plasma ignition sequence is optimized for lower-purity Argon gas (i.e., 99.9% Argon as opposed to more expensive 99.9999% used by other manufacturers). Combined, this results in the industry’s lowest running costs among ICP-MS instruments.

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SAMPLE PREPARATION

Similar to HPLC prep, you will need a liquid sample to introduce to the  ICP-MS. This is commonly accomplished by using a microwave digestion process. The samples are first weighed and then placed in a vessel that contains a small amount of acid (usually HNO3, or nitric acid, though hydrochloric acid is also acceptable). This dissolution process on its own could take hours, so the incorporation of the microwave digester speeds up the process dramatically. Once digestion is complete, the sample is rinsed out of the digestion container and placed in a sample vial, then inserted into the  autosampler of the ICP-MS and the analysis begins.

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Identification

Different types of metals can be found in soils and fertilizers  and as cannabis plants grow, they tend to draw in these metals from the soil. Heavy metals are a group of metals considered to be toxic and the most common include lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury. Most labs are required to test and confirm that samples are under the allowable toxic concentration limits for these four hazardous metals.Heavy metal testing is performed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, or ICP-MS. ICP-MS uses the different masses of each  element to determine which elements are present within a sample,  and at what concentrations.