Glass or Plastic: The Challenges and Solutions of Analyzing Mercury by ICP

New Focus on Old Contaminants (e.g., lead, mercury, PCBs)
Oral Presentation

Prepared by J. King
Inorganic Ventures, 300 Technology Drive, Christiansburg, Virginia, 24073, United States

Contact Information:; 540-585-3030


The quantitative analysis of Mercury is critical to the environmental community due to the element’s toxicity in humans and animals and prevalence in certain foods and drinking water. For ICP-OES and ICP-MS users the quantification of Mercury is often accompanied by unique challenges due to its chemical nature, and identifying these obstacles plays a key role in working towards analytical solutions. Mercury issues related to chemical form in solution, sample preparation, storage, and matrices will be discussed with troubleshooting suggestions provided. Additionally, sources of error involved with analysis as a result of the working solutions moving through the instrument will also be discussed; factors such as adsorption to plastic introductory components and volatilization play significant roles in an analyst’s ability to perform a proper analysis of Mercury.