Oyster tissues and shells normally contain some trace elements, and can accumulate others as contaminants from food, water and sediments. These may pose risks to consumers or affect shellfish health and growth. Dual pulse Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) can be used to examine trace elements and their ionic forms in different environmental samples. A rapid-pulse Nd:YAG laser was used to ablate a small amount of sample to obtain emission spectra from the resulting plasma. We also measured metal concentrations in the same samples by conventional acid-digestion graphite furnace AA (GFAA). LIBS may provide an extremely rapid, inexpensive and sensitive method for sample screening. LIBS also allows mapping of metal distributions along tissue transects, and so may have applications in growth or geochronology studies and modification of the method may facilitate lower detection limits.
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