Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Environmental Health Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (xvii, 323 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Patrick J Parsons

Committee Members

James S Webber, Haider A Khwaja, Michael S Blood, Carolyn A MacDonald


Fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray spectroscopy, Public health, Public Health, public health

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry | Environmental Health | Public Health


X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry is a well-established analytical technique for determining the elemental content of many different materials. XRF has long been used for public health applications, particularly for identifying lead-based paint hazards. The primary advantage of XRF over other atomic spectrometric techniques is that it is nondestructive. In addition, little sample preparation is required, so results are obtained rapidly and at low cost. The principal aim of this study was to characterize the utility and reliability of current XRF instrumentation for use in the environmental health sciences. Interest in the use of XRF for detecting lead in children's toys rapidly increased in 2007 due to the large numbers of contaminated products imported into the United States from China. However, little is known about the accuracy and limitations of new XRF instrumentation designed for specific applications in environmental health, so this study is intended to elucidate these aspects.