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A summary of the analytical methods for determining total uranium in environmental media (air,
water, soil, sediment, biota, and vegetation) is provided in Table 4. Chemical methods utilized in
uranium analysis include spectrophotometry, fluorometry, and kinetic phosphorescence. More
recently, various mass spectrometer applications, including inductively coupled plasma-mass
spectrometry (ICP-MS), atomic emission spectrometry (AES), mass spectrometry (MS) and
accelerator-MS have been employed. Alpha (α) spectrometry is the analytical method
commonly used for uranium isotope quantification (ATSDR 1999).
Scott (1973) lists sampling methods for uranium in occupational environments and Beverly and
Ernstberger (1986) report methods for monitoring stack emissions.
Analysis of uranium in food has been conducted through preconcentration methods followed by
alpha spectrometry or fluorometry (Sill 1977; Singh and Wrenn 1983). Dang and Chatt (1986)
developed a simple and rapid method for the separation and determination of uranium from food
by co-precipitation followed by neutron activation analysis (NAA).