Journal Article

Determination of Mercury in Whole Blood and Urine by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

Bonnie Mei Wah Fong, Tak Shing Siu, Joseph Sai Kit Lee and Sidney Tam

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 31, issue 5, pages 281-287
Published in print June 2007 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online June 2007 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/31.5.281
Determination of Mercury in Whole Blood and Urine by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

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The conventional method for the determination of mercury in clinical samples is cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Sample digestion or pretreatment require large sample volume and long sample preparation time. The inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) method developed in this study requires only 100 µL of sample with practically no preparation, except for dilution with diluent. Significant savings in sample volumes, reagents, technician time, and analysis time are realized. Among different types of diluents, the one containing acid, tert-butanol, and potassium dichromate gave the best results to remove the mercury memory effect. The interassay precisions for whole blood and urine were < 5% and < 8%, respectively, and the intra-assay precisions were < 3% and < 7%, respectively. The lower limits of detection were 0.13, 0.17, and 0.26 µg/L for aqueous standard, urine, and whole blood, respectively. The developed ICP-MS method correlated well with the atomic absorption method and can offer an alternative to the atomic absorption method for mercury analysis with less sample volume requirement as well as shorter analysis time.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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