ISO 15586:2003 includes principles and procedures for the determination of trace levels of: Ag, Al, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Tl, V, and Zn in surface water, ground water, drinking water, wastewater and sediments, using atomic absorption spectrometry with electrothermal atomization in a graphite furnace. The method is applicable to the determination of low concentrations of elements.
The detection limit of the method for each element depends on the sample matrix as well as of the instrument, the type of atomizer and the use of chemical modifiers. For water samples with a simple matrix (i.e. low concentration of dissolved solids and particles), the method detection limits will be close to instrument detection limits. The minimum acceptable detection limit values for a 20-microlitre sample volume are specified.