Using EC-ICP-MS to Determine Actinides in Urine: An Interview with Robert L. Jones


In Part 1 of our interview with Jones, he discussed the mission of the CDC and how his work in their ICP-MS laboratory advanced their efforts to research and develop ways to assess and monitor population exposure to toxic or radioactive elements, which involved using analytical methods, such as inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), to analyze trace and toxic metals.

In Part 2 of our conversation with Jones, he answers the following:

  • In a previously published study, you and your team explored determining actinides in urine (1). What specific challenges or limitations were commonly encountered in traditional radiochemistry analytical methods for determining actinide concentrations in urine? How does the new method your team introduced in this study address these obstacles?
  • Could you explain the significance of achieving the nanograms per liter level detection of actinides in urine using this rapid analysis method (< 23 minutes) and its implications for occupational exposure monitoring and radiological emergency response?


(1) Liu, Y.; Xiao, G.; Jones, R. L. High-Throughput Determination of Ultratrace Actinides in Urine by In-Line Extraction Chromatography Combined with Quadrupole Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (EC-ICP-MS). Anal. Chem. 2022, 94 (51), 18042–18049. DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c04458

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John Burgener | Photo Credit: © Will Wetzel
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