ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Ultra-trace arsenic and mercury speciation and determination in blood samples by ionic liquid-based dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction combined with flow injection-hydride generation/cold vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy

Hamid Shirkhanloo, Aisan Khaligh, Hassan Zavvar Mousavi, Mohammad Mehdi Eskandari, and Ali Akbar Miran-Beigi

Iranian Petroleum Industry Occupational and Environmental Health Research Center (IPIOEHRC), Iranian Petroleum Industry Health Research Institute (IPIHRI), 1485733111 Tehran, Iran



Abstract: A simple, fast, and sensitive method for speciation and determination of As (III, V) and Hg (II, R) in human blood samples based on ionic liquid-dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction (IL-DLLME) and flow injection hydride generation/cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (FI-HG/CV-AAS) has been developed. Tetraethylthiuram disulfide, mixed ionic liquids (hydrophobic and hydrophilic ILs) and acetone were used in the DLLME step as the chelating agent, extraction and dispersive solvents, respectively. Using a microwave assisted-UV system, organic mercury (R-Hg) was converted to Hg(II) and total mercury amount was measured in blood samples by the presented method. Total arsenic content was determined by reducing As(V) to As(III) with potassium iodide and ascorbic acid in a hydrochloric acid solution. Finally, As(V) and R-Hg were determined by mathematically subtracting the As(III) and Hg(II) content from the total arsenic and mercury, respectively. Under optimum conditions, linear range and detection limit (3σ) of 0.1-5.0 μg L−1 and 0.02 μg L−1 for As(III) and 0.15-8.50 μg L−1 and 0.03 μg L−1 for Hg(II) were achieved, respectively, at low RSD values of < 4 % (N = 10). The developed method was successfully applied to determine the ultratrace amounts of arsenic and mercury species in blood samples; the validation of the method was performed using standard reference materials.

Keywords: arsenic – mercury – microwave assisted-UV system – ionic liquid-based dispersive liquid- liquid microextraction – hydride generation/cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1515/chempap-2015-0086


Chemical Papers 69 (6) 779–790 (2015)

Friday, September 30, 2022

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