A New Method for Total Mercury and Methyl Mercury Analysis in Muscle of Seawater Fish

  • G. Carbonell
  • J. C. Bravo
  • C. Fernández
  • J. V. Tarazona


In this work we have developed a cost-effective method for the analysis of methyl mercury (MeHg) in seawater fish muscle. The novelty of this method lies in the use of microwave-assisted extraction with acidic solution (HCl), addition of toluene, and subsequent extraction with cysteine acetate solution where only MeHg is present because of its affinity for cysteine groups. MeHg in cysteine phase and total mercury in the homogenate muscle tissue were determined using a direct Hg analyzer (DMA-80). Validation, precision, and accuracy of the method were evaluated and monitored with a tuna fish certified reference material (CRM 463) containing MeHg.


Methyl mercury Microwave extraction Mercury Direct mercury analyzer 



This work was financially supported by the Spanish Project RTA2005-00176-00-00.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Carbonell
    • 1
  • J. C. Bravo
    • 1
  • C. Fernández
    • 1
  • J. V. Tarazona
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Ecotoxicology, Department of the EnvironmentINIAMadridSpain

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