Determination of methylmercury in environmental samples using static headspace gas chromatography and atomic fluorescence detection after aqueous phase ethylation

Leermakers, M.; Nguyen, H. L.; Kurunczi, S.; Vanneste, B.; Galletti, S.; Baeyens, W.
September 2003
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Sep2003, Vol. 377 Issue 2, p327
Academic Journal
A rapid and automated method for the determination of monomethylmercury (MMHg) in environmental samples was developed using headspace gas chromatography with atomic fluorescence detection in combination with aqueous phase ethylation. Sample preparation steps were optimized for sediments, biological samples, and water samples using certified reference materials and real samples with a broad range of MMHg concentrations. Different extraction procedures were compared for both sediments and biological samples. The methods were applied in the intercomparison exercises for the certification of MMHg in sediments (IAEA 405) and in Oyster tissue (BCR 710) and the results were accepted for certification. The detection limits for MMHg are 0.002 ng Hg/g for sediments and biological samples and 0.01 ng Hg/L for water samples. The method was tested for methylation artifacts; no artifact was observed in the sediment samples and CRMs tested.


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