A study of sample mineralization methods for arsenic analysis of blood and urine by hydride generation and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry
Mineralization procedures for blood and urine suitable for the determination of arsenic by Hydride Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (HGAAS) are studied on model samples, and the results are utilized in biological monitoring investigations. The objective of this work is to obtain good total As recoveries for both matrices regardless of added As species (As(III), As(V), DMA, MMA, AsB, or AsC). Prior to the HGAAS analyses, preparation procedures were controlled under optimised conditions by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). Two preparation procedures for urine give As recoveries close to 100% by HGAAS: a) dry ashing at 420°C with Mg(NO3)2 on a hot plate, and b) microwave oven decomposition with (NH4)2S2O8. For blood samples, As recoveries by HGAAS range between 95 and 108% for all species when using dry ashing after a pretreatment of samples with HNO3 and H2O2 in a microwave oven. Wet digestion with (NH4)2S2O8 in a microwave oven gives recoveries very near 100% for Asinorg. and MMA. For other As species in spiked blood samples, recoveries of less than 20% As are found. Precision and detection limits obtained by both techniques are evaluated as well. For arsenic concentrations of 20 μg dm−3 or more in blood and urine, a chemical modifier is recommended for GFAAS analysis; it may or may not be proceeded by a mineralization step. For low As levels encountered in the unexposed population, the HGAAS technique provides reliable results only if a very complete mineralization procedure is used.
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