Determination of Mercury content in Canned Tuna brands using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) and use Isoto

The relative lethal nature of mercury is dependent on its chemical form, methyl mercury as one of the substances existing in the environment. Additionally, this chemical form of mercury is also toxic due to its high liposolubility. However, all the forms of mercury released in the ecosystem undergo biogeochemical transformation processes hence converted to methyl mercury. The main exposure of mono methyl mercury to humans is consumption of fish. Mono methyl mercury (MMHg) represents the major type of mercury in fish. This is because it has the capability of biomagnification in the food chains within the marine. Organomercury compounds may also find their way into the environment from both anthropogenic sources and from production by natural in situ biogenic modifications. Exposure to mercury leads to a variety of signs and symptoms including dizziness, allergy, vomiting and muscular weakness. Furthermore, its toxicity elicits impaired hearing and vision as well as depressed immune system. Eventually, its accumulation within the body leads to brain damage which consequently may lead to death. As it is the case with most anthropogenic, mercury finds its way into the aquatic environment in its inorganic form. Chlor-alkali industry is one of the major pollution source and gateway for mercury (Gao et al.). Consequently, monitoring of the mercury levels within the environment is not enough. Therefore, speciation analysis provides critical in useful information in the assessment of toxicity and health risks of mercury. Furthermore, such analysis helps in understanding the biogeochemical cycling of mercury compounds. As a result, enormous and concerted efforts have been made in developing reliable methods for mercury determination and speciation analysis in biological and fish samples. This review articulates with emphasis special attention to clean sample preparation, good storage sample procedures and performance of the different techniques (Lee et al). Mass spectrometry (MS) can be considered as one of the most important analytical techniques in the analysis of element concentration. It is a method that has also been employed for isotope analysis, surface characterization and structural examination of bioinorganic compounds. In an attempt to understand metabolic pathways of toxic and toxicology in general, strategies have been developed. These novel approaches are important in obtaining qualitative and quantitative information regarding the elements, element species and their interactions. A variety of methods for determination of mercury have been well captured and elaborated in literature. The cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CV AAS) has been the most preferred method in the analysis of mercury especially in foodstuffs. This is because the method has an efficient speed in addition to its simplicity. Moreover, this technique possesses relative freedom from obstructions and also has low operational costs as well as high sensitivity. The high sensitivity is very evident when mercury vapor is pre-concentrated on an amalgamation comprising gold element. Another variant of atomic absorption spectrometry is the graphite furnace technique, commonly abbreviated as GF AAS. This method allows for direct determination of many metals at trace and ultra trace levels in solid samples. Advantages of this technique include high sample throughput and low sample requirement in terms of the sample mass for analysis. In