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The reliability of mercury analysis in environmental materials

Abstract

Mercury occurs in nature in its native elemental as well as in different mineral forms. It has been mined for centuries and is used in many branches of industry, agriculture and medicine. Mercury is very toxic to man and reports of poisoning due to the presence of the element in fish and shellfish caught at Minamata and Niigata, Japan have led not only to local investigations but to multi-national research into the sources and the levels of mercury in the environment. The concentrations at which the element has to be determined in these studies are extremely small, usually of the order of a few parts in 10{sup 9} parts of environmental material. Few analytical techniques provide the required sensitivity for analysis at such low concentrations, and only two are normally used for mercury: neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption photometry. They are also the most convenient end points of various separation schemes for different organic mercury compounds. Mercury analysis at the ppb-level is beset with many problems: volatility of the metal and its compounds, impurity of reagents, interference by other elements and many other analytical difficulties may influence the results. To be able to draw valid conclusions from the analyses  More>>
Publication Date:
Jan 01, 1973
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
IAEA-RL-12
Resource Relation:
Other Information: 6 refs, figs, 11 tabs; PBD: Jan 1973
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ACCURACY; CONCENTRATION RATIO; ECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; ENVIRONMENT; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY; INTERLABORATORY COMPARISONS; MERCURY; METHYLMERCURY; POLLUTANTS; QUANTITATIVE CHEMICAL ANALYSIS; RELIABILITY
OSTI ID:
20493885
Research Organizations:
International Atomic Energy Agency, Agency's Laboratories, Analytical Quality Control Services, Seibersdorf (Austria)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
TRN: XA0402450066062
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form; Also available on-line: http://www.iaea.org/programmes/aqcs/pdf/a_rl_012.pdf
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
21 pages
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

Heinonen, J., and Suschny, O. The reliability of mercury analysis in environmental materials. IAEA: N. p., 1973. Web.
Heinonen, J., & Suschny, O. The reliability of mercury analysis in environmental materials. IAEA.
Heinonen, J., and Suschny, O. 1973. "The reliability of mercury analysis in environmental materials." IAEA.
@misc{etde_20493885,
title = {The reliability of mercury analysis in environmental materials}
author = {Heinonen, J., and Suschny, O}
abstractNote = {Mercury occurs in nature in its native elemental as well as in different mineral forms. It has been mined for centuries and is used in many branches of industry, agriculture and medicine. Mercury is very toxic to man and reports of poisoning due to the presence of the element in fish and shellfish caught at Minamata and Niigata, Japan have led not only to local investigations but to multi-national research into the sources and the levels of mercury in the environment. The concentrations at which the element has to be determined in these studies are extremely small, usually of the order of a few parts in 10{sup 9} parts of environmental material. Few analytical techniques provide the required sensitivity for analysis at such low concentrations, and only two are normally used for mercury: neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption photometry. They are also the most convenient end points of various separation schemes for different organic mercury compounds. Mercury analysis at the ppb-level is beset with many problems: volatility of the metal and its compounds, impurity of reagents, interference by other elements and many other analytical difficulties may influence the results. To be able to draw valid conclusions from the analyses it is necessary to know the reliability attached to the values obtained. To assist laboratories in the evaluation of their analytical performance, the International Atomic Energy Agency through its own laboratory at Seibersdorf already organised in 1967 an intercomparison of mercury analysis in flour. Based on the results obtained at that time, a whole series of intercomparisons of mercury determinations in nine different environmental materials was undertaken in 1971. The materials investigated included corn and wheat flour, spray-dried animal blood serum, fish solubles, milk powder, saw dust, cellulose, lacquer paint and coloric material.}
place = {IAEA}
year = {1973}
month = {Jan}
}