A procedure for sampling gaseous methylmercury (MeHg) in ambient air using a refluxing mist chamber (MC) has been developed. The MC consists of a glass bulb with an air inlet tube at the bottom. Via a capillary mounted adjacent to the inlet tube, the solution inside the MC is pulled from the bottom of the bulb to form a mist inside the chamber. Two different aqueous sampling solutions were tested and evaluated, a dilute HCl (0.003 M) solution and a solution containing the chelating agent ammonium salt of pyrrolidine-1-dithiocarboxylic acid. The airflow rate through the sampler was 10-15 l min-1. The sampling time was 6 h when using dilute HCl as an extraction solution, and 3 h when using the solution containing the chelating solution. Determination of atmospheric MeHg collected in the aerated water sample was accomplished using GC/CVAFS after aqueous phase ethylation, and pre-collection onto carbotrap column. To test the reproducibility and accuracy of the method, parallel sampling, and standard additions tests were carried out. Other quality control tests, i.e. procedure blanks and duplicated analysis have also been performed. The detection limit, based on three times the standard deviation of total blank (including sampling, distillation, and analysis) is 2 pg, which corresponds to a procedural detection limit of approximately 1 pg m-3 in ambient air when sampling for 3 h. Measurements performed on the roof of the IVL building yielded concentrations from 3 to 22 pg m-3 corresponding to 0.3-1% of the total gaseous mercury in ambient air.
Medarbetare: John Munthe
Nyckelord: Methylmercury, Ambient air
Författare: Ying-Hua Lee, Ingvar Wängberg, John Munthe
Publicerad i: Science of the Total Environment, 304, 107-113. 2003