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The Determination of Barium and Antimony in Gunshot Residue by Flameless Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy Using a Tantalum Strip Atomizer

Volume 29, Number 1 (Feb. 1975) Page 44-48

Goleb, J.A.; Midkiff, C.R.


A flameless atomic absorption technique, employing a tantalum strip atomizer, has been developed to determine barium and antimony in gunshot residue. Cotton swabs, wetted with 5% HNO3, are used to collect residue. Barium and antimony are released from the swabs by acid leaching or plasma ashing. Both techniques give good recoveries; the ashing technique is preferred for blood-stained swabs. The sensitivity for barium is 0.1 ng/10 μl and antimony 0.2 ng/10 μl. At nanogram levels the standard relative deviation for barium is 8.3% and for antimony 8.5%.