The measurement of trace-element concentration in soil, sediment and waste, is generally a combination of a digestion procedure for dissolution of elements and a subsequent measurement of the dissolved elements. Partial and total digestion methods can be used in environmental monitoring activities. To compare measurement results obtained by different methods, it is crucial to determine and to maintain control of the bias of the results obtained by these methods. In this paper, ICP-MS results obtained after matrix digestion with modified aqua regia (HCl+HNO3+H2O2) method and two total digestion methods (microwave aqua regia+HF and HNO3+HF) are compared with those obtained by instrumental neutron activation analysis, a non-destructive analytical method for the determination of the totalmass concentrations of inorganic components in environmental matrices. The comparison was carried out on eight agricultural soil samples collected in one test area and measured by k0-INAA and ICP-MS to determine As, Co, Cr, Sb and Zn mass concentration. The bias of results for As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb and Zn of the three digestion methods were assessed using selected measurement standards. This paper highlights that the digestion procedure is an integral part of the measurement and can affect the measurement result in environmental analysis.
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