An assessment of sampling, preservation, and analytical procedures for arsenic speciation in potentially contaminated waters

Youn Tae Kim, Hyeon Yoon, Cheolho Yoon, Nam Chil Woo

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20 Citations (Scopus)


This study was undertaken to ascertain optimal methods of sampling, preserving, separating, and analyzing arsenic species in potentially contaminated waters. Arsenic species are readily transformed in nature by slight changes in conditions. Each species has a different toxicity and mobility. The conventional field sampling method using filters of 0.45 μm in size could overestimate the dissolved arsenic concentrations, as passing suspended particles that can act as a sink or source of arsenic depending on the site condition. For arsenic species in neutral pH and iron-poor waters, the precipitation can be stable for up to 3 days without any treatment, but for longer periods, a preservative, such as phosphoric acid, is required. Also, the analytical procedure must be selected carefully because the levels and hydride generation efficiencies of arsenic in different species can vary, even for the same amount of arsenic. For arsenic speciation in samples that also include organic species, a hybrid high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) column and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) gave the best resolution and lowest detection limits. However, the procedure using a solid phase extraction (SPE) cartridge can be used economically and conveniently for analyzing samples containing only inorganic arsenic species, such as groundwater, especially that related to mine activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement This research is a part of the Ph.D. dissertation work of Youn-Tae Kim, Yonsei University. Financial support was provided by the research fund from the Korea Basic Science Institute (N26051) and the Korea Research Foundation (KRF-2005-C00081).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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