FAQ & Queries

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions, please Contact Us.

We accept a variety of samples, including liquid and solid samples from environmental and biological sources, including samples of soil, plants, cells, tissue, buffers, and metals. For an extended list, please see Available Services. If you are unsure about your sample, please Contact Us with your questions.

ICP-MS methods can detect naturally occurring elements other than hydrogen, helium, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, neon, chlorine, argon, krypton and xenon.

Unfortunately, no, ICP-MS is not capable of distinguishing between these.


No. We can give you an idea of the elemental content in your water, however we are not state-accredited to determine whether your water is safe.

Yes, Semiquantitative Determination of Elemental Content can be used to determine the relative content of detectable elements. 

For most solid biological samples we require each sample to be no less than 20 mg and no more than 500 mg. For solid inorganic samples such as dirt, 1 gram is sufficient. For liquids, we recommend submitting 0.2 – 1.0 mL per sample (depending on the concentration of elements of interest).

Please refer to Preparing Sample Submissions for details on how to prepare your samples. Please Contact Us if you have questions regarding an unusual sample. If you prepare your own samples you will also need to submit a blank sample that was prepared identically. You can also submit your samples as is and we will prepare them for analysis (see Pricing).

No, we do not return your samples.

The answer depends on the number of samples, how many elements are being tested for, what sort of analysis is being conducted, and how many of the samples we are preparing for analysis. Please refer to Pricing for the price ranges for our most popular services.

You can submit contact information and details for your sample analysis by going to Sample Forms. Your samples may be dropped off or mailed to our laboratory (see Contact Us). Please include a list of Sample IDs with your samples. For more details, please visit Request Services & Check Results.

Turnaround time varies depending upon the type and number of samples, and whether we are preparing the samples. Turnaround time is typically between 2 and 6 weeks.

We will send you your results in the form of an excel spreadsheet.

We offer experimental consultation, please see Pricing for more details and Contact Us to get in touch.

  We offer a brief overview of ICP-MS.  Additionally, our Education & Links section has a number of resources, including a page about ICP-MS as a Technique, and other educational links.

Please explore our sections on expanded uses of ICP-MS:

  Learn more about applications of ICP-MS by consulting us