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THE DETERMINATION OF METHYL MERCURY SPECIES IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND IN FOOD

Objective


Two tuna fish reference materials containing methyl mercury were prepared. Homogeneity and stability studies and analytical work were performed for the certification of the contents of total and methyl mercury. The methods used to certify the mass fractions of total mercury (2.85 ug/g in CRM 463 and 5.24 ug/g in CRM 464, on a mass of dry matter basis) and methyl mercury (3.04 ug/g in CRM 463 and 5.50 ug/g in CRM 464, as MeHg cations on a dry mass basis) were established.
Mercury occurs in the environment in various forms e.g. elementary mercury (Hg), inorganic mercury and methyl mercury (MeHg). Elementary mercury is mainly present in the air; inorganic mercury in water; and methyl mercury occurs predominantly in the contaminated food chain (e.g. shell-fish). Methyl mercury compounds are of paramount importance: their toxicity and the risk of humain exposure are high. Because of its toxicity and abundance in the food chain, the limits of exposure to MeHg are at least 5 times less than the exposure to other Hg-compounds. The objective of the project is to develop through collaborative work of a number of experienced laboratories a methodology for accurate determination of MeHg in food. It is envisaged that in a second phase reference materials will be prepared e.g. fish and shell-fish.

STATUS

Third intercomparison concluded in 1991. Certification campaign started in 1992 [mercury and methyl-mercury in tuna fish: candidate CRMs 463 (low content) and 464 (high content)].

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

dK TEKNIK
Address
15,Gladsaxe Moellevej
2860 Soeborg
Denmark

Participants (13)

Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei
Germany
Address
Wüstland 2
22589 Hamburg
De Montfort University
United Kingdom
Address
The Gateway
LE1 9BH Leicester
Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER)
France
Address
Station De Nantes Rue De L'ile D'yeu
44037 Nantes
M STOEPPLER
Germany
Address
Mariengartenstraße 1A
52428 Jülich
National Food Agency
Denmark
Address
19,Morkhoj Bygade
2860 Soeborg
National food administration
Sweden
Address

SE 75126 Uppsala
Presidio Multizonale di Prevenzione
Italy
Address
Campo Della Lana 601
30125 Venezia
Presidio Multizonale di Prevenzione
Italy
Address
Campo Della Lana 601
30125 Venezia
Sheffield Hallam University
United Kingdom
Address
Pond Street
S1 1WB Sheffield
Swedish Environmental Research Institute
Sweden
Address
43,Hälsingegatan
100 31 Stockholm
Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Spain
Address

15706 Santiago De Compostela
Università degli Studi di Genova
Italy
Address
Via Brigata Salerno Ponte
16147 Genova
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Belgium
Address
2,Pleinlaan
1050 Brussels