The accuracy and reliability of semi-quantitative inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) were evaluated through two certified reference materials and real water samples from the Lake Constance Water Supply. Results for the real water samples measured by semi-quantitative ICP-MS were compared with those analyzed by different quantitative methods. With semi-quantitative ICP-MS it is possible to determine elements not present in the calibration standard. The concentrations of non-calibrated elements might be questionable, but can give a reliable hint for the presence or absence of elements in the sample. The results demonstrate that semi-quantitative ICP-MS is a reliable tool to analyze aqueous samples in emergency situations.
- water contamination
- water analysis