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Huang, J-H; Ilgen, G: Factors affecting arsenic speciation in environmental samples: sample drying and storage, International Journal of Environmental & Analytical Chemistry, 86(5), 347-358 (2006), doi:10.1080/03067310500227878
Arsenic is an ubiquitous element. Its toxicity, mobility and bioaccumulation depend usually on its chemical form, and therefore, arsenic speciation is indispensable for the assessment of environmental risk and human hazard. Little is known about the effect of sample preparation procedures, such as drying and storage, on the resulting arsenic speciation. In this study, we investigated the influence of different drying methods and storage conditions on the arsenic speciation in mineral soils, organic soils and plants. Drying soils and plants using different methods may change the concentrations of the total methanol-water (20%, v/v) extractable arsenic, the proportion of organic arsenic and the ratio of arsenite-to-arsenate. Loss of methanol-water extractable arsenic compounds (up to 63%) was observed particularly in the samples rich in water. Following drying, the speciation of organic arsenic changed less than that of inorganic arsenic. Drying showed little influence on the total arsenic determination. None of the storage methods tested could preserve the arsenic speciation in organic soils and plants, although arsenic speciation after one-month storage varied less in freeze-dried samples than wet samples. Storage of the samples at low temperatures (2oC or -20oC) had the largest impact on the samples rich in organic matters, leading to less arsenic being extractable by methanol-water. Both drying and storage of the soil and plant samples changed apparently the arsenic speciation. Therefore, we recommend conducting the arsenic speciation possibly with fresh and wet amples, so that the results of arsenic speciation may be more approaching the original states.
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