Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 20(1), 85 (2004).

Concentrations of Hazardous Heavy Metals in Environmental Samples Collected in Xiamen, China, as Determined by Vapor Generation Non-dispersive Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry
Jing LIANG, Qiuquan WANG,  and Benli HUANG
Department of Chemistry & the MOE Key Laboratory of Analytical Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Non-dispersive atomic fluorescence spectrometry (NDAFS) coupled with vapor generation (VG) sample introduction was applied to the determination of the concentrations of hazardous heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, in seawater, soils and total airborne particulate matter (PM) collected around the Xiamen area in China. Almost 100% sample introduction efficiency was achieved by using thiourea and ascorbic acid for the pre-reduction of AsV to AsIII, K3Fe(CN)6 and tartaric acid for pre-oxidation of PbII to PbIV, and masking the interferences arising from the coexisting transition metals to As, Cd, Hg and Pb during their vapor generation process. Moreover, a novel sample pretreatment device was developed to avoid the loss of mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic during sample pretreatment. With such methods, the detection limit (DL) of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury was down to 0.08, 0.03, 0.05, 0.01 ng mL-1 (3σ), respectively. The relative standard deviations (RSD, n = 11) for arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury at 10 ng mL-1 were 0.9%, 1.6%, 1.3% and 2.0%, respectively. The concentrations of hazardous heavy metals in the environmental samples collected in Xiamen, China are in the range from 0.02 ± 0.001 ng mL-1 in seawater to 15.3 ± 0.2 μg g-1 in soils. Besides flame/GF-AAS and ICP-AES/MS, VG-NDAFS should be another choice for the determination of hazardous heavy metals in environmental samples.