Determination of total and bioavailable As and Sb in children's paints using the MSFIA system coupled to HG-AFS†
In this study, the use of hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HG-AFS) coupled with the multi-syringe flow injection analysis (MSFIA) has been proposed in the application of the Doehlert design to optimise the determination of As and Sb in gouache and tempera children's paints. The determination of the total and bioavailable As and Sb in paint samples from various brands and colours was also investigated. The limits of quantification (LOQ) obtained for the determination of As and Sb were 14.0 and 8.6 ng g−1, respectively. The accuracy and precision of the method were evaluated through recovery tests (by the analyte addition method) at three levels for both elements, and by the analysis of certified reference materials of clay (CRM 052, Loamy Clay 1) and river water (SLRS-4). Twenty paint samples, manufactured in China, Italy, Spain and Brazil, were analysed. The concentrations of As varied between below LOQ (<14 ng g−1) and 136.0 ± 1.1 ng g−1 (average value of 101.0 ng g−1, n = 10), and Sb between below LOQ (<8.6 ng g−1) and 74.0 ± 5.4 ng g−1 (average value of 21.7 ng g−1, n = 17). The children's paint samples presented As and Sb concentrations that were below the maximum values established by the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO), as well as by the European legislation Directive 2009/48/EC. Based on the obtained results for the total As and Sb concentrations, eight samples were selected to evaluate the migration or bioavailability of As and Sb after solubilisation in HCl solution. The obtained results showed that for the eight analysed samples, the concentration of both elements after solubilisation in HCl solution were below the LOQ (<16.2 ng g−1 for As and <7.1 ng g−1 for Sb). These values correspond to the limits of analytical concentrations of As and Sb established by INMETRO and the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT). The determined concentrations of As and Sb guarantee the safety (with regards to these elements) for children when using the analysed paint samples since they do not cause any health risk. The analytical method for the determination of the total and bioavailable As and Sb in children's paints was efficient, accurate and precise.