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Determination of Total Mercury in Fish Tissues Using Pyrolysis Atomic Absorption Spectrometry With Gold Amalgamation

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Abstract: A simple and rapid procedure for measuring total mercury in fish tissues is evaluated and
compared with conventional techniques. Using an automated instrument incorporating combustion, preconcentration by amalgamation with gold, and atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS), milligram quantities of wet fish tissue were analyzed directly for mercury (i.e., without acid digestion). Seven tissue types (skeletal muscle, liver, blood, gonad, brain, 01, and heart) from five species offish were analyzed. Because of the small quantities of tissue needed for analysis, we document the homogeneity of mercury within the tissues and determine a preferred sampling technique and location for skeletal muscle. The precision was found to be generaHy<10%(rsd),and the accuracy was determined by using certified reference materials (dogfish muscle, dogfish liver, and oyster tissue). Comparisons to conventional cold-vapor AAS (CV-AAS) and isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry found that the methods give statistically equivalent (p > 0.05) results. Because the combustion-AAS method is faster than conventional CV-AAS and produces no waste reagents, it should be particularly useful for laboratories that analyze large numbers of fish for mercury. The method detection limit for fish-muscle homogenate was estimated at 0.9 ng/g.
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Citation:Cizdziel, J. V., T. A. Hinners, and E. M. Heithmar. Determination of Total Mercury in Fish Tissues Using Pyrolysis Atomic Absorption Spectrometry With Gold Amalgamation. WATER, AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION:FOCUS 135(1-4):355-370, (2002).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Environmental Chemistry Branch
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Product Type: Other Journl
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Published: 04/02/2002
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Environmental Chemistry
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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