Facultade de Fisioterapia

Determination of cadmium and lead in mussels by electrothermal atomic absorption spectometry using an ultrasound-assisted extraction method optimized by factorial design

Authors: Isela Lavilla, Jose Luis Capelo, Carlos Bendicho

Journal: Fresenius' Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 363: 283-288, 02/1999

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s002160051189


A simple and rapid method is described for the quantitative extraction and determination of Cd and Pb in mussel tissue (Mytilus edulis). The method is based on the quantitative ultrasound-assisted extraction (i.e. sample mass at mg level) of the two metals using diluted nitric acid as extractant. The extraction procedure is carried out in autosampler cups of the graphite furnace (typically, less than 20 mg). A two-level full factorial design (24) was applied to optimize the variables influencing the ultrasound extraction process. These variables were: extraction time, ultrasound amplitude, nitric acid concentration and particle size. Optimization results showed that acid concentration and particle size were the more significant variables. Determination of Cd and Pb in extracts obtained after ultrasound treatment was carried out by Electrothermal Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. The method was validated by statistically comparing the metal contents found with the certified ones corresponding to the BCR 278 mussel tissue. No significant differences were observed for P = 0.05. LODs for Cd and Pb in mussel tissue were 0.019 and 0.37 μg g–1. RSDs values (corresponding to between-batch precision for n = 5) were 2.2 and 6.7% for Cd and Pb, respectively. The method was applied to measure the contents of Cd and Pb in mussels used as pollution bioindicators from the Galician coast (Ria de Vigo, Spain).