Volume 2, Issue 9 (October 2005)
Development of a New Fluorescence Method for the Detection of Beryllium on Surfaces
A rapid, quantitative, sensitive test for the detection of beryllium on surfaces has been developed. The method is based on the fluorescence of beryllium bound to sulfonated hydroxybenzoquinoline at pH 12.8, which emits at 475 nm when excited at 380 nm and includes a novel dissolution technique. The intensity of fluorescence is linear with respect to beryllium concentration. A detection limit of 0.02 µg Be/100 cm2 has been achieved, which is ten times lower than the DOE recommended working limit for non-beryllium work areas . Interference studies have been carried out with a variety of metals including Al, Fe, Pb, U, Cd, Cr, Hg, Ca, W, Ni, Co, and Cu with minimal or no interferences found for detection of Be at 100 nM in the presence 0.4 mM of the other metal. The method has proven successful under various operating conditions, including the detection of beryllium on a variety of surfaces both in laboratory settings and in field trials. It fulfills the requirements for a fast, inexpensive, field deployable method of detection of beryllium on surfaces.