Determination of Organic Mercury in Biota, Plants and Contaminated Sediments Using a Thermal Atomic Absorption Spectrometry Technique
- 261 Downloads
A simple, rapid procedure for the determination of organic mercury in sediments, plants and fish tissues has been developed and validated. Extraction and separation of organic mercury compounds from the sample matrix was achieved by an established procedure based on an acid leaching of the sample (H2SO4/KBr/CuSO4), followed by extraction of the organic mercury halide with toluene and back-extraction with an aqueous solution of thiosulphate. Detection and quantification of mercury, in the liquid extracts, was made by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS), following thermal decomposition of the sample. The method was evaluated using Certified Reference Material (CRM) BCR 463 (tuna fish), BCR 580 (estuarine sediment), IAEA-140TM (sea plant homogenate) and NRCC TORT-2 (lobster hepathopancreas). The recovery factors for organic mercury in all tested CRM were between 81–107%. The precision of the method has relative standard deviations of less than 10% for sediments and fish tissues and of less than 16% for plant material. The method was successfully applied to natural samples of sediments, plants, macroalgae and fish tissues collected from an estuarine ecosystem and could, therefore, be used for routine analyses.
Keywordsatomic absorption spectrometry with thermal decomposition (AAS) environmental matrixes organic mercury compounds
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Alloway, B. J.: 1995, ‘Trace metals in soils’, Blackie Academic & Professional, London.Google Scholar
- Bryce, D. W., Stockwell, P. B. and Corns, W. T.: 2004, ‘Mercury speciation: A fully automatic gas chromatographic/atomic fluorescence instrument’, RMZ- Materials and Geoenvironment: Mercury as a Global Pollutant 51(3), 1876–1879.Google Scholar
- Falter, R., Hintelmann, H. and Quevauviller, Ph.: 1999, ‘Conclusion of the workshop on “sources of error in methylmercury determination during sample preparation, derivatisation and detection”, Chemosphere 39(I), 1039–1049.Google Scholar
- Horvat, M.: 1996, ‘Mercury analysis and speciation in environment samples’, in W. Baeyens (ed.), Global and Regional Mercury Cycles, Fluxes and Mass Balances, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, pp. 1–31.Google Scholar
- Miller, J. N. and Miller, J. C.: 2000, Statistics and Chemometrics for Analytical Chemistry, Pearson Education Limited, Great Britain, 120 pp.Google Scholar
- Rebelo, J. E.: 1994, ‘Ichthyofauna of Ria de Aveiro and the lagunar life cycle of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax, Linnaeus, 1758)’, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Aveiro, 180 pp.Google Scholar
- Salih, B., Say, R., Denizli, A., Genc, Ö. and Piskin, E.: 1998, ‘Determination of inorganic and organic mercury compounds by capillary gas chromatography coupled with atomic absorption spectrometry after preconcentration on dithizone-anchored poly(ethylene glycol dimethacrylate-hydroxyethylmethacrylate) microbeads’, Anal. Chim. Acta 371(2–3), 177–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wiener, J. G., Krabbenhoft, D. P., Heinza, G. H. and Scheuhammer, A. M.: 2002, ‘Ecotoxicology of Mercury’ in D. J. Hoffman et al. (ed.), Handbook of Ecotoxicology, CRC Press, Boca Raton-Florida, pp. 409–463.Google Scholar