The concentrations of Tc-99 and impurity radionuclides in the Tc-99m tracer solution obtained from a commercial Mo-99/Tc-99m generator were measured by gamma spectrometry and liquid scintillation counting. Mo-99 and Ru-103 were found in the Tc-99m eluate. A simple separation using two extra alumina cartridges was investigated to purify the eluate to obtain a suitable Tc-99m tracer with low Tc-99 concentration. The activity ratio of Tc-99/Tc-99m in the prepared Tc-99m solution is lower than 15 x 10(-9), which is higher than the theoretical ratio of less than 10 x 10(-9). The possible reason is discussed. The Tc-99 in the 20 kBq spiked Tc-99m tracer was found to be less than 0.3mBq, which is lower than the detection limit of the radiometric method used for environmental samples. The purified Tc-99m eluate is used as yield tracer for the determination of low levels of Tc-99 in environmental samples. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.