Proficiency testing for total mercury in oyster with a metrologically traceable reference value from isotope dilution mass spectrometry: implications on laboratory practices using mercury analyzers

  • Hwijin Kim
  • Euijin Hwang
  • Jwahaeng Park
  • Sung Woo Heo
  • Yong-Hyeon Yim
  • Youngran Lim
  • Myung Chul Lim
  • Jong Wha LeeEmail author
  • Kyoung-Seok LeeEmail author
General Paper


Mercury is a toxic element of particular concern for the environment and human health, but its accurate analysis is challenging due to its unique physical and chemical properties. In order to enhance the quality and traceability of measurements, a proficiency testing (PT) program (MFDS-PT-101FM-2017) for mercury in oyster tissue has been conducted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) of Korea. A majority of the participating laboratories have used commercial mercury analyzers based on thermal decomposition amalgamation atomic absorption spectrometry (TDA–AAS). Good agreement between the participants’ results and the reference value (RV) was observed, where the RV is traceable to the International System of Units and verified for international equivalence. The results of this PT program support the participating laboratories in demonstrating their competence in quantitative analysis, and show the potential of commercial TDA–AAS systems for accurate mercury analysis.


Proficiency testing Certified reference value Metrological traceability Mercury Mercury analyzer Isotope dilution mass spectrometry 



This study was supported by MFDS under the project “Development of standard samples for 2017 proficiency testing of MFDS (I)” (Grant No. 33173019300), by KRISS under the project “Establishing Measurement Standards for Inorganic Analysis” (Grant No. 17011050) and the project “Establishing Measurement Standards for Analytical Chemistry” (Grant No. 18011054).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 443 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Chemical and Medical Metrology, Center for Analytical ChemistryKorea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Bio-Analytical ScienceUniversity of Science and Technology (UST)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Consumer Risk Prevention BureauMinistry of Food and Drug SafetyCheongju-siRepublic of Korea

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