Certification of methylmercury content in two fresh-frozen reference materials: SRM 1947 Lake Michigan fish tissue and SRM 1974b organics in mussel tissue (Mytilus edulis)

W. Clay Davis, S. J. Christopher, Rebecca S. Pugh, O. F. X. Donard, Eva A. Krupp, David Point, Milena Horvat, D. Gibicar, Z. Kljakovic-Gaspic, Barbara J. Porter, Michele M. Schantz

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This paper describes the development of two independent analytical methods for the extraction and quantification of methylmercury from marine biota. The procedures involve microwave extraction, followed by derivatization and either headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) with a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-coated silica fiber or back-extraction into iso-octane. The identification and quantification of the extracted compounds is carried out by capillary gas chromatography/mass spectrometric (GC/MS) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometric (GC/ICP-MS) detection. Both methods were validated for the determination of methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in a variety of biological standard reference materials (SRMs) including fresh-frozen tissue homogenates of SRM 1946 Lake Superior fish tissue and SRM 1974a organics in mussel tissue (Mytilus edulis) and then applied to the certification effort of SRM 1947 Lake Michigan fish tissue and SRM 1974b organics in mussel tissue (Mytilus edulis). While past certifications of methylmercury in tissue SRMs have been based on two independent methods from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and participating laboratories, the methods described within provide improved protocols and will allow future certification efforts to be based on at least two independent analytical methods within NIST.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2335-2341
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • speciation
  • organometals
  • certified reference material
  • standard reference materials
  • dilution mass-spectrometry
  • gc-icp-ms
  • polychlorinated biphenyl congeners
  • compounds speciation analysis
  • solid-phase microextraction
  • triple spike methodology
  • isotope-dilution
  • butyltin compounds
  • chlorinated pesticides

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