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J AOAC Int. 2001 Nov-Dec;84(6):1763-9.

Speciation analysis of heavy metals in natural waters: a review.

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  • 1University of Thessaloniki, Chemistry Department, Environmental Pollution Control Laboratory, Greece.


Metal speciation in natural waters is of increasing interest and importance because toxicity, bioavailability, environmental mobility, biogeochemical behavior, and potential risk in general are strongly dependent on the chemical species of metals. This paper provides an overview of the need for speciation of heavy metals in natural waters, the chemical and toxicological aspects of speciation, and the analytical procedures for separation and the different techniques for final determination that are used today. The trends and developments of speciation are also discussed. Finally, the case of chromium (Cr) was selected for a detailed presentation because the speciation of this metal has attracted a great deal of interest in view of the toxic properties of Cr(VI).

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