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Issue 5, 2011
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Low-level determination of six arsenic species in urine by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS)

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Abstract

Many methods that have been used to speciate arsenic metabolites in urine are unable to adequately resolve the chromatographic peaks for arsenite (As[III]) and arsenobetaine (AsB). We present a High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) method that has been optimized to reliably measure the following six arsenic species in human urine: As[III], arsenate (As[V]), monomethylarsonous acid (MMA[III]), monomethylarsonic acid (MMA[V]), dimethylarsinic acid (DMA[V]) and AsB. The method was evaluated with regards to changes in mobile phase, accuracy and precision. The ability to quantify the six species in a given sample depended on the low detection limits of the method—0.06 µg L−1 for AsB, 0.11 µg L−1 for As[III], 0.08 µg L−1 for DMA[V], 0.12 µg L−1 for MMA[V] and 0.15 µg L−1 for As[V]. The procedure was used to measure the six arsenic species in urine samples from 387 individuals in southeast Michigan who are chronically exposed to slightly elevated levels of arsenic in their drinking water. The DMA[V] was detected in 99.2% of samples, AsB in 98.2%, MMA[V] in 73.4%, As[III] in 45.0%, and As[V] in 27.1%. No MMA[III] was detected even in samples analyzed within 6 hours after collection. The results raise some doubt as to whether MMA[III] is a significant metabolite in urine of people exposed to arsenic concentrations below 20 µg L−1 in their drinking water.

Graphical abstract: Low-level determination of six arsenic species in urine by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS)

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Article information


Submitted
08 Oct 2010
Accepted
24 Feb 2011
First published
30 Mar 2011

Anal. Methods, 2011,3, 1122-1129
Article type
Paper

Low-level determination of six arsenic species in urine by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS)

Z. Rivera-Núñez, A. M. Linder, B. Chen and J. O. Nriagu, Anal. Methods, 2011, 3, 1122
DOI: 10.1039/C0AY00601G

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