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Standard solutions and samples containing a few micrograms of metallic ions per milliliter are frequently used in determination of trace elements. It is important to know whether the concentrations of such solutions remain constant from day to day. The stability of dilute solutions of three metallic ions-uranium, lead, and thorium-has been investigated. Solutions containing concentrations of metallic ions, ranging from 1000 to 0.1 ?? per milliliter, were allowed to stand for approximately 2.5 months, and then the metallic ion content of those solutions that had lost strength was determined. Both adsorption and hydrolysis variously influenced the solute loss, but the minimum pH at which loss of concentration of lead and uranium occurred seemed to coincide with the pH at which the hydrolyzed metal ions began to precipitate. No increase in the stability of the solutions was obtained by substituting polyethylene containers for borosilicate glass. The solutions that lost strength could not be restored promptly to the original concentration by manual means, such as shaking them vigorously for several minutes.
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Stability of dilute solutions of uranium, lead, and thorium ions