Laser ablation of modern human cementum: the examination of trace element profiles
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This study used LA-ICP-MS on a documented sample of modern teeth to sample from a continuous line across the cementum increments thus creating a temporal line graph of the elemental composition against distance. The knowledge of cementum was extended through (1) a more complete elemental composition analysis and (2) the relation of element distribution to the ultrastructure structure throughout the life of a tooth. This study was exploratory and demonstrated that lead, zinc, mercury, and barium follow the same general line of changes, and most likely represent changes in health and exposure to these metals in the general environment. Copper, manganese and vanadium varied very little. Technological limitations prevented the examination of element levels in any one annulation.