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Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2014;31(1):54-62. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2013.856037. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

Anatomical mercury speciation in bay scallops by thio-bearing chelating resin concentration and GC-electron capture detector determination.

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  • 1a Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering , Ocean University of China , 238 Songling Road, Laoshan District, Qingdao 266100 , China.


The highly toxic methyl-, ethyl- and phenylmercury species that may exist in the three main anatomical parts - the adductor muscle, the mantle and the visceral mass - of bay scallops (Argopecten irradias) were quantitatively released by cupric chloride, zinc acetate, sodium chloride and hydrochloric acid (HCl) under ultrasonic extraction. After centrifugation, the mercury species in the supernatant were concentrated by thio (SH)-bearing chelating resins, eluted with HClO4 and HCl and extracted with toluene. Separation was achieved by capillary GC equipped with programmed temperatures, a constant nitrogen flow and detected by a micro-electron capture detector (╬╝ECD). Under optimised conditions, the LODs for methyl-, ethyl- and phenylmercury in bay scallop samples were 1.1, 0.65 and 0.80 ng g(-1), respectively. The maximum RSD for three replicate determinations of methyl-, ethyl- and phenylmercury in bay scallop samples were 13.7%, 14.0% and 11.2%, respectively. In the concentration range of 4-200 ng g(-1) in bay scallop samples, the calibration graphs were linear with correlation coefficients not less than 0.997. Recoveries for spiked samples were in the range of 92.7-103.5% (methylmercury), 87.5-108.3% (ethylmercury) and 91.6-106.0% (phenylmercury), respectively. The method was verified by the determination of methylmercury in a CRM GBW10029 (Total Mercury and Methyl Mercury in Fish Tissue), with results in good agreement with the certified values. Methylmercury - the only existing species in bay scallops - was successfully determined by the method.

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