News and Promos
Practical Guide to ICP-MS: A Tutorial for Beginners
It has been 14 years since I published the first edition of my textbook, “Practical Guide to Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry: A Tutorial for Beginners” and 4 years since the 3rd edition was launched at the Pittsburgh Conference in 2014. What was originally intended as a series of tutorials on the basic principles of ICP-MS for Spectroscopy Magazine in 2001 quickly grew into a textbook focusing on the practical benefits of the technique. With over 5000 copies of the English version sold, and almost 3000 copies of the Chinese (Mandarin) book in print, I’m very much honored that the book has gained the reputation as being the reference book of choice for novices and beginners to the technique all over the world. Sales of the book have exceeded my wildest expectations. Of course, it helps when it is “recommended reading” for a Pittsburgh Conference ICP-MS Short Course I teach every year on “How to Select an ICP-MS.” It also helps when you get the visibility of your book being displayed at 15 different vendors’ booths at the Pittsburgh Conference every year. But there is no question in my mind that the major reason for its success has been that it presents ICP-MS in a way that is very easy to understand for beginners and shows the practical benefits of the technique for carrying out routine trace element analysis.
During the time the book has been in print, the ICP-MS application landscape has slowly changed. When the technique was first commercialized in 1983, it was mainly the environmental and geological communities that were the first to realize its benefits. Then as its capabilities became better known and its performance improved, other application areas like clinical, toxicological and semiconductor markets embraced the technique. Today, ICP-MS with all its performance and productivity enhancement tools is the most dominant trace element technique, and besides the traditional application fields mentioned, it is now being utilized in other exciting areas including nanoparticle research, oil exploration and pharmaceutical manufacturing. As a result, with a street price tag for a single quadrupole-based ICP-MS in the order of $100k, it is being purchased for applications that were previously being carried out by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and Atomic Absorption (AA).
One of the newer market segments that have realized the benefits of ICP-MS is the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and dietary supplements application areas. Recent regulations on heavy metal testing have required the industry to monitor a suite of elemental impurities in pharmaceutical raw materials, drug products and dietary supplements. These guidelines which are described in the new United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Chapters 232, 2232 and 233 were finally implemented on January 1, 2018. Similar methodology has also been approved by the ICH (International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use), a consortium of global pharmaceutical industries, including the European Pharmacopeia (EP) under the umbrella of the European Medicine Association, the Japanese Pharmacopeia (JP) and United States Pharmacopeia (USP) through its Q3D, Step 4 guidelines.
These new directives have been driven by the fact that even though the risk factors for heavy metal contamination have changed dramatically, standard methods for their testing and control have changed little for more than 100 years, and as a result, most heavy metals limits have little basis in toxicology. The standard method described in Chapter 231 of the United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary (USP-NF) has been in existence since 1908. Unfortunately, the test involving precipitation of the metal sulfides using thioacetamide, an extremely toxic chemical, is also known to be unreliable and prone to errors. As a result, USP has spent the past 15 years investigating the use of plasma-based techniques for this analysis, particularly Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry (ICP-MS), which has far greater specificity, is more sensitive and is applicable to a wider range of metals of interest.
Based on these investigations, three new USP General Chapters - Chapters 232, 233 and 2232 were eventually approved in 2013. Chapter 232 specifies the measurement of 24 elemental impurities defined as permitted daily exposure (PDE) limits, while Chapter 233 describes the analytical procedures, sample preparation and validation protocols. Chapter 2232 deals with elemental contaminants in dietary supplements. Stakeholders were required to fully implement these new USP and ICH directives by January of this year (2018). Seven of the most important PDE elemental impurities (Class 1 and 2A elements) in Chapter 232 and ICH Q3D Step guidelines are shown in Table 1.
Element Class Oral PDE
Cd 1 5 2 2 Pb 1 5 5 5 As 1 15 15 2 Hg 1 30 3 1 Co 2A 50 5 3 V 2A 100 10 1 Ni 2A 200 20 5
Table 1: Permitted daily exposure (PDE) limits for Class 1 and 2A elements, as defined in USP Chapter 232 and the ICH Q3D Step 4 guidelines
My Work with the American Chemical Society
In January 2017, the 11th edition of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) book Specifications and Procedures for Reagent Chemicals was officially published, which was the culmination of 7 years of work for twenty-five dedicated analytical chemists and their affiliated organizations who volunteer their time and resources by serving on this ACS committee. This new compendium reflected new methodology, updated procedures and more stringent specifications regarding chemical reagents used for analytical testing purposes.
It was my involvement with the ACS Committee on Reagent Chemicals, which I’ve served on for the past 17 years, that I became involved with the USP. Because our book is used by the pharmaceutical community (and other similar organizations where analytical testing is carried out such as ASTM and the US EPA), we have worked closely with USP to ensure our methods on heavy metals testing align with theirs. In fact, the General Notices and Requirements in the USP-NF book of compendial standards states… “Unless otherwise specified, reagents conforming to the specifications set forth in the current edition of Reagent Chemicals, published by the American Chemical Society (ACS), shall be used”.
My Incentive for Writing the Book
It was mainly the feedback I was getting from people who were attending my workshops and short courses that gave me the incentive to write this textbook. It was clear there was a great deal of misunderstanding and confusion regarding the new USP chapters. It was further complicated by the fact that these were people who were not familiar with atomic spectroscopic testing methods, so did not have a solid grounding in trace element analysis or sample preparation techniques. For that reason, a large component of my short course was addressing the fundamental principles of both ICP-OES and ICP-MS. It became very clear to me that these operators needed a great deal of support and hand-holding if they were going to fully-understand these techniques and be able to generate high quality data for the pharmaceutical materials they would be required to test. This became my major driving force to put together a reference book and training tool focusing on the analytical methodology, instrumental techniques and sample preparation procedures used for testing elemental impurities in drug products.
It’s also important to emphasize that QC/QA and manufacturing facilities of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies have never really been required to use plasma spectrochemical-based techniques before. ICP-MS in particular has been considered more applicable to the demands of the drug development and discovery process. For that reason, it has primarily been used by R&D groups who have analytical chemists with a high level of expertise. With the approval of these three USP methods and ICH guidelines, pharmaceutical production facilities will have to either invest in this new technology or send it out to a contract lab for testing. Unfortunately, if it’s done in-house, they could be asking technician-level people to operate this equipment, who have little or no experience of using sophisticated plasma spectrochemical analytical instrumentation.
When I began the process of putting the book chapters together, I realized that I did not have the experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry, contract laboratory, or for a regulatory agency, so my next month’s blog will focus on the experts in these fields who made important contributions to the book and my thoughts on how the book should be used. So until then, good luck with your analysis. I’ll see you back here in July.
In many resource-strained countries, managing safe drinking water supplies to protect public health embodies numerous challenges. In recent years, CPI has partnered with the Aquaya institute, to collaborate on their Monitoring for Safe Water project, a research study in Africa funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In participating on this project, CPI donated over 1,000 Colitag tests for a portion of the study which examines ways to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of water quality monitoring programs. Additionally, our Vice President of Water Microbiology, Rosalind Tung, has donated time and expertise consulting as the designer of the comparative testing protocol for this portion of the study. Roz, as we know her, comes from a long line of humanitarians. Anyone who spends time with her knows that she’s not only knowledgeable in her field, but a passionate individual who desires to make a positive impact through contribution. This ongoing project is one of many that we’re a part of and I look forward to highlighting more as the year progresses.
Exciting New Happenings
We’re looking forward to an upcoming “Community Corner” page on CPI’s website where we will recognize the many ways our Team Members give back to their communities and the world. It is my hope to raise awareness for our employees’ favorite causes by sharing them with you, our Valued Customers.
We are also proud to recognize Robert Thomas, an expert in the field of trace element analysis who has authored almost 100 publications and written three textbooks on ICP-MS and related topics. We look forward to sharing this industry leader’s knowledge in a series of upcoming articles.
Already this year we have enjoyed seeing you at multiple industry conferences. We’re looking forward to our remaining 2018 events, including the Cannabis Science Conference in Portland and the AWWA Water Quality Conference in Ontario, plus more. If you’re at any of these events, we would love to have you visit our booth.
CPI continues to maintain a core purpose of continuous improvement. If at any point you feel we are not meeting your expectations, or to recognize a member of our Team for excellent service, please contact me directly at ViceR@CPIInternational.com.
President & CEO
Posted: April 19, 2018|Categories: Promotions
Running low on your trusted SPE extraction disks? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! CPI International’s collection of SPE disks are equivalent to major brands, including 3M’s Empore™. Order CPI Nu-Phase disks now and earn your store credit!
For a limited time, CPI is offering Reward Points for our select, best-selling SPE disks. Order before June 30th and earn points that convert to store credit:
Purchase Amount Reward Points (RP) Earned Store Credit Value $150 - $499 100 RP $30 $500+ 250 RP $100Nu-Phase™ Oil and Grease SPE Disks
Nu-Phase™ Oil and Grease SPE Disks are constructed from glass fiber and embedded with C-18 media. These high grade bonded-phase silica SPE disks provide optimal total surface area with even bonding, resulting in excellent recoveries. Our disks comply with EPA Standard Methods 1664A/B and are approved for oil and grease (HEM) extractions.
Start earning more today with the featured SPE disks below!
Posted: March 05, 2018|
Food safety has become a major public health issue due to numerous and easily accessible sources of contamination. Food concerns may be attributed to single or multi-faceted areas of food production including growing, harvesting, packaging, handling, processing, manufacturing, transporting, preparing, and storing. With modern food production methods employing a wide variety of chemicals, probabilities of food-borne illnesses and associated economic loss are much greater.
Contamination poses a serious health risk to consumers and have been linked to cancer, reproductive and immunologic harms. It typically takes significant periods of time to expose contamination as toxic chemicals in food are usually imperceptible and cannot be detected by the naked eye.
Chemicals present in food are largely caused by agrochemical usage and traces of pesticides, contact to environmental pollution, cross-contamination during food manufacturing and processing, usage of food contact paper and boards containing PFCs, and presence of chemicals found in food additives.
In modern agriculture, applications of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and fungicides have become a necessity in ensuring favorable plant yield and growth by preventing pests, weeds, and diseases from infesting crops. Many agrochemicals and pesticides are directly sprayed on fruits and vegetables. These chemicals may also remain in the soil and water for years, affecting food and drinking water quality. Pesticides can cause long-term health issues depending on frequency and amount of exposure.
Aside from agrochemicals, toxins found in food may also result from environmental contaminants which can either be man-made or naturally occurring. These include heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), flame retardants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polyfluorinated compounds, and other pollutants which can enter the food chain.
Many toxic chemicals are an ingredient to everyday products such as Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) which are applied to bring stain, grease, and water-resistant properties to items normally found inside and outside of the household. From non-stick kitchenware, stain resistant carpets and sofas, waterproof clothes, to food packaging, automotive, electronics, construction, and aerospace, PFCs are utilized in a wide range of applications. Aside from usage, consuming food and water contaminated with PFC are the most common sources of chemical exposure.
Food safety may also be threatened due to contact with toxic chemicals during food manufacturing, processing, and packaging. Toxic compounds and chemical reactions may be formed during processes like heating, canning, filling, hydrolysis, and fermentation. More importantly, packaging materials are one of the most blatant sources of food contamination. Food wrappers, bags, and boxes with grease and water-resistant characteristics have been detected to contain PFCs which transfer the chemical from the packaging to the food and air. Fast food chains and restaurants serving sandwiches and pastries in wrappers, pizza in boxes, and other food units in wrapping papers and boards also tested positive for PFCs based on a 2015 study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and various non-profit research organizations.
The extensive responsibility of protection against pesticide contaminants is often shouldered by the government with agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who assess latest and existing pesticides in the market to guarantee that implementation will not be harmful to infants and children, as well as adults. PFCs are discovered to accumulate in the bodies of humans and wildlife, and may be transferred from mother to child through the umbilical cord and breast milk. With the objective of guarding public health and safety, the EPA continuously monitors and improves safety standards related to pesticide residues. The usage of PFOA (a type of PFC) in food wrapping papers have also been banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to substantial health risks.
On the other hand, food producers are responsible for the presence of toxic substances in their marketed products. FDA Sections 176.170 and 176.180 include a comprehensive list of permitted additives that manufacturers may use in their packaging materials. Companies often employ the assistance of laboratories to ensure that products comply with government food safety regulations.
Advancements in technology enabled easily detecting and quantifying of chemical identities contained in food and other substances. With state-of-the-art laboratories employing innovative analytical instrumentation methods for determining the presence of toxic chemicals in food, risks of food contamination has lowered significantly.
Gas or Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry are powerful techniques utilized in identifying specific compositions contained in a sample and are frequently used in food analysis. Performing these methods requires the usage of organic standards intended to determine pesticides/PCBs and other element compositions in a sample. The availability of accurate, sensitive, and certified organic standards has greatly improved testing efficiencies, facilitating more effective food safety procedures needed to secure food supply.
CPI International is a trusted manufacturer of certified organic standard solutions guaranteed to help you comply with the latest FDA regulations to ensure contamination-free food sources. Browse our comprehensive selection of volatiles, semi-volatiles, and pesticide/PCB standards to conveniently perform fast and accurate food inspections in your laboratory. Identify common toxins found in your food or request custom organic standards for determining precise compounds, catering to your analytical needs. Our custom standards are designed for fewer calibration points, less dilution, and quick and accurate food safety analysis
Posted: February 01, 2018|
Depleted oil resources along with sustained high expense of exploration and refinement are forecasted to lead to global economic disruption. The decline in oil supply production has been a recurrent issue until now as fuel comprises more than one third of the global energy supply and powers over 95% of transportation usage. Oil wells typically cost millions of dollars to build. Thus, oil companies spend an inordinate amount of time analyzing exploration data for indications of oil sources before drilling.
The determination of trace metals in petroleum products plays an active role in exploration and exploitation ventures throughout oil production. Elements or compounds identified in crude oil are often studied to gain insight on a petroleum source, which may then provide information relevant in oil formation. When oil presence is recognized, additional requirements such as production testing and appraisal wells are needed to identify the size and production capabilities of the reservoir.
Moreover, monitoring crude oil quality is crucial in saving both energy and resources. Geochemical identification of oil component concentrations is commonly performed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) due to its sensitivity and reduced analytical time required. However, this technique is not capable of detecting metal presence at minute concentrations (ppb level). In these instances, Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption (GFAA) is often used as an alternative method with its enhanced detection of low concentrations when compared to ICP-OES.
Analyzing crude oil is a complex procedure due to its different viscosities and numerous compounds. Natural oils may contain around 60 microelements with varying concentrations usually within the range of 10-7 to 10-10%. Unrefined crude oil also comes with an assortment of unwanted components including water, organic and particulate matter, and metals which should be extracted to produce clean marketable petroleum products.
Known methods in elemental analysis of crude oil include:
- Molecular absorption spectrophotometry,
- Atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS),
- Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS),
- High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC),
- Gas chromatography (GC), and
- X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XFS)
Choosing the most suitable oil component identification procedure requires many points to consider such as the the targeted degree of accuracy and precision required, operating resources available, different extraction technologies, and global fuel market trends. In practice, few standards can appropriately address these requirements.
CPI International manufactures certified organic reference materials for precise quantification of metallic impurities and toxic chemical compounds enabling you to produce pure, high quality petroleum products. Choose from our extensive line of volatiles, semi-volatiles, and pesticide/PCB standards and supply your laboratory with world-class organic solutions for running challenging samples through ICP-MS, ICP-OES, and Gas Chromatography applications.
As a custom manufacturer, CPI International also provides custom organic standards specifically produced for fewer calibration points and less dilution for quick and accurate petroleum analysis.
Exciting New Things
Our website continues to improve with more products being added every day. Specifically, our online Standards inventory now offers thousands of products for your Organic and Inorganic needs. If you do not see exactly what you’re looking for, our Sales Team is just a phone call away, ready to customize your product any time.
In November, we launched our MyCPI Rewards Program, offering the opportunity to earn points for dollars spent, new account setups, auto-ship setups, customer referrals and social media shares. These points convert to credits earned toward future purchases. If you haven’t set up an online account, I highly recommend doing so.
CPI is proud to be a part of Pittcon 2018 next month in Florida. If your organization is attending this conference, plan on stopping by Exhibit Booth #3057 and saying hello to our Team. We would love to discuss your product needs and learn how we can help your laboratory run more efficiently. I look forward to meeting you in person.
Continuous improvement is a critical piece of our culture here at CPI International. Our goal is to ensure quality products and unrivaled customer service. If at any point you feel we are not meeting your expectations, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for being a part of a successful 2017. May 2018 hold continued prosperity, joy and fulfillment for you and your business.
President & CEO
The MyCPI Rewards Program is driven by the inspiration and motivation provided by our valuable customers. Our rewards program provides all CPI customers with reward points earned through online shopping, Customer referrals, Facebook sharing, and creating an online account. These reward points convert to store credits which can be used for your next purchase to get discounts and maximize your laboratory budget!
Everyone is entitled to take part in the MyCPI Rewards Program. Whether you’re a new, regular or returning customer, you are encouraged to participate in the rewards program as early as now!
Reward points earned through the MyCPI Rewards program are equivalent to actual dollar values! Refer to the table below for the equivalent store credits of your reward points.
Reward Points (RP) Earned Store Credits Value 20RP $5 100RP $30 250RP $100 500RP $225 1000RP $5004 Ways to Earn PointsPurchase Amount
Customers who have completed orders of at least $200 in total are rewarded with corresponding points which accumulate as your order value increases. Use your store credits to get discounts on your succeeding orders! You can redeem as many as 1000 points, equivalent to $500 store credit just by shopping CPI products that you would regularly buy!
Refer to the table below for the purchase amount needed to acquire points and its equivalent store credits.
Purchase Amount Reward Points (RP) Earned Store Credit Values $200 - $999 20RP $5 $1,000 - $2,499 100RP $30 $2,500 - $4,999 250RP $100 $5,000 - $9,999 500RP $225 $10,000+ 1000RP $500Sign-Up
Users who have signed up or created an account here on our website are rewarded with 20 points which is equivalent to $5 Store Credit. Reward points are given immediately upon creation of CPI account. You can either save the reward points you earned or use them right away to get a discount on your next purchase with us!Sign Up Now!Refer a Friend
Simply refer a friend to our store to earn 20 RP, equivalent to $5 Store Credits, for every successful account sign-up. Your friend will also be given 20 RP through MyCPI Rewards’ Sign-Up Bonus!
You can choose from these 2 easy ways to refer a friend:
1. Share Your Unique Referral Link
Go to the My Referrals section of your account dashboard. Copy and share your account’s unique referral link to a friend. The referral link will direct your friend to the CPI website where they should register for a CPI account to let both parties earn 20 RP!
2. Send a Referral Invitation
In the same My Referrals section, there is a form to let you conveniently send invites to your friends. Just enter their names and email addresses, and click on the Send Invitations button. The invitation will be sent to your friend’s email which will direct them to sign up for a CPI account. Upon signing up, you and your friend will automatically receive 20 RP!Facebook Sharing
Share any CPI product on your Facebook profile and receive 20 RP from us! Through Facebook Sharing, it only takes these easy steps to earn as many points as possible:
Step 1: Log in to your CPI account.
Make sure that you are logged in the CPI website so we can track your activities and register your earned RP.
Step 2: Share your chosen CPI product.
Navigate to the product page and click on the Facebook Share button located below the product name. Then, share the product using your Facebook account.
That’s it! Just wait for an email confirmation and 20 MyCPI Reward Points will reflect on your dashboard right away.MyCPI Rewards Reminders
Please be reminded of the rules and conditions of our MyCPI Rewards:
- Earned points can be cancelled after order refunding.
- Points expire in 1 year after earning it.
- Customers can view their rewards history in their account dashboard.
- Customers can view a “My Referrals” section where they can see all actions and rewards related to attracting referrals.
For any questions and clarifications, kindly send it through our web form here.
Northern California Wildfires
Many have read about, and seen images of, the California communities devastated by wildfires in the news. Thousands of homes in our town were destroyed and many folks lost their lives. Thankfully, CPI International Inc.’s Headquarters was not in the immediate path of the firestorm and all CPI staff are safe.
When the wildfires tore through Santa Rosa, mandatory evacuations displaced most CPI staff for several days. With that said, our dedicated staff kept the business operating with a skeleton crew within 24 hours of evacuations. Our staff’s resolution to continue serving customers’ during such a difficult time is a continued reminder of our staff’s dedication to becoming the best possible laboratory supply company for our customers.
New CPI International Inc. Website and Upcoming Rewards Program
In August, we launched our new website that includes improved mobile responsiveness, intuitive navigation, order history tracking, optimized search features and one click re-order function, just to name a few.
Since the launch, over a hundred new products have been added to the site, along with specific categories for reference materials related to food safety, wine and cannabis.
New products will continually be added in the coming months as our online product offering grows.
Soon we will be launching a Rewards Program to provide our loyal customers rebates and incentives. More details on this program will be coming soon.
Our team continues to work diligently to improve customer service, develop new product offerings, reduce product delivery time, and ensure the highest quality products.
Hearing from our customers is very important, so if at any point you feel we are not meeting your expectations, please feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com. Our goal is and always will be to ensure great communication and great customer service.
I wish you and your businesses continued success as you close out 2017!
President & CEO