Determination of mercury in baby food and seafood samples using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry and slurry atomization
Electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry is proposed as a method for determining mercury in baby food and seafoods. Samples are prepared as slurries and fast-program methodology is used to avoid mercury volatilization losses. Suspensions are prepared in a medium containing 0.1% m/v Triton X-100, 3% v/v concentrated nitric acid, 2% m/v potassium permanganate and 4% m/v silver nitrate, before being directly introduced into the furnace. Calibration is carried out using aqueous standards. The characteristic mass is 61 pg and the detection limit is 59 pg. The reliability of the procedure is checked by comparing the results obtained with others based on microwave-oven sample digestion and by analyzing two certified reference materials. The maximum levels of mercury were found in fish liver.