Mercury speciation in soil analysis (DSA): unique in the Benelux
For soil investigation purposes where elevated mercury contents are found, an additional analysis can be considered. By doing an extended speciation analysis, one is able to determine not only the amount of mercury, but it also allows you by means of a speciation technique to identify the toxicity of said elevation. For help, you can turn to the analytical expert SGS, as the only commercial laboratory able to assist in this field in the Benelux.
The classical soil approach tends to determine only the amount of total mercury present. The fact that mercury can occur in different forms (metallic- or methylmercury) means that a more extensive evaluation is highly recommended. This is done with the help of mercury speciation – an analysis which determines the toxic forms of mercury.
INSIGHT INTO HUMAN RISK
Mercury speciation is a useful method of analysis for improved interpretation of the human risk linked to methyl- or ethylmercury (Me- or EtHg). Due to its bio accumulative nature, these substances are indeed particularly toxic. Moreover, global warming can have a direct impact, as the defrosting of permafrost increases the risk of MeHg being released. This makes continuous evaluation important in both the short and medium term.
MERCURY SPECIATION AT SGS
Our specialized IAC environmental laboratory has developed its own analytical method for matrix water based on IC or GC-ICP-SF-MS technology. For soil samples, we conduct the Hg-speciation analysis according to EPA 3200. In the event of increased concentrations of mercury, both techniques offer greater insights into the toxic nature. It is also possible to sample and analyze mercury in (ambient) air, so that we can properly evaluate the impact on those concerned. You will receive the analysis results two to three weeks after sampling.
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