Determination of methylmercury in waters using sodium tetraphenylborate derivatization solvent extraction and gas chromatography ion trap mass spectrometry
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An analytical approach involving aqueous-phase derivatization followed by gas chromatography/ion trap mass spectrometry (GC/ITMS) for the determination of methylmercury in waters is described. The aqueous-phase derivatization is based on the formation of a more hydrophobic compound between MeHg+ and BPh4-, i.e., MeHgPh, which is extractable into dichloromethane. The detection limit of the method for MeHg is 1 ng/mL for Hg when 100 ml water was analyzed. Recoveries from standard addition to tap water, lake water are 96 +/- 8 % and 92 +/- 8 %, respectively.