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THE ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF TOTAL CONCENTRATION OF ARSENIC AND

ITS COMPOUNDS IN SEA FISHES IN THE DA NANG BEACHES BY USING ATOMIC


ABSORPTION SPECTROMETER
Nguyen Thi Dieu Thuy, Tran Le Van Anh, Le Thi Mui*
Department of Chemistry, Danang University of Education.

ABSTRACT
The marine environment as a huge basket contains many harmful substances. One of the
contamination agents causes the marine environment serious consequences such as heavy metals.
This study, we reported the results of the determination of total concentration arsenic in some sea fish
samples in Da Nang City by using atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) showed that arsenic is
presented in all the analyzed samples. Concentrations arsenic in the range of 0.015mg/kg to
0.214mg/kg.
Key words: Arsenic, concentration, sea fishes.

1. Introduction
The polluted problem of the marine environment in Vietnam is becoming increasingly serious day by
day. Several heavy metals (As, Hg, Fe, Pb,...) are in everywhere in marine population, especially is
the presence of arsenic and its compounds in some sea fishes. Sea fishes are aquatic animals with
high economic value, as food sources are abundant and rich in nutrients. As a result, they are widely
used in Vietnam and other countries in the world [2]. However, the understanding of Vietnamese on
harmful effects of arsenic and its compounds is extreme limit. This leads the prevention of arsenic
polution in the community has not been high [3]. As can be seen that, arsenic and its compounds are
extremely toxic substances. It can cause the death when we are acute infection and with chronic
infection from arsenic and its compounds can cause a variety of serious diseases, including skin and
lung cancer. For these reasons, the anlysis and evaluation arsenic and its compounds are an
imperative problem to contribute positively to Vietnams food safety programs [4,5].
The purpose of this study was to analyse and evaluate the total concentration of arsenic and its
compounds in the sea fishes on the Danang beaches by using AAS [1]. Our study provided an exact
data about arsenic polution in sea fishes in Vietnam.
___________________________________________
* Corresponding author
Email adress: lethimui@gmail.com
Office adress: 459 Ton Duc Thang st., Lien Chieu dist., Danang city, Vietnam

2. Experimental procedure
Some sea fishes were used in the study

Sea fishes purchased from the markets on Danang City and washed with distilled water. Using a
stainless knife separated the fish meat for analysis process. The fish meat washed with distilled water
before being dried. Then the samples grinded to smooth powder. The samples continued to
disintegrate at high temperature by the mixture of clohydric and sulfuric acid (HCl 62% and H2SO4
96%, China). At the same time, all of arsenic compounds were converted to As+3 using NaBH4 (95%,
China) as a reducing agent. The concentration of arsenic and its compounds in sea fishes were
determined through As+3 concentration by using AAS (Perkin Elmer, USA) method.
3. Results and discussions
To construct procedures for analysis of arsenic content in sea fish samples, we conducted inorganic
process for wet sample by using acid mixture. Accordingly, the content of As was determined by
AAS method. The principle of the method is conversion of all arsenic in the samples into the ions in
solution and then using NaBH4 reductant to convert all arsenic compounds to the hydride compound
(AsH3).

3.1. Establishment analysis method


3.1.1. The results of standard line construction.
Based on the above optimal conditions, we conducted construction of standard line on curve to
determine the arsenic content in sea fish. Mix arsenic standard solution at a concentration
respectively of 1,0 mg/l; 2 mg/l; 5 mg/l; 10 mg/l standard solution from the original As3+1000ppm [2]
and the measured optical wavelength optimization of 193.7nm, and then we obtain standards line
construction (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Standard line defined Arsenic


3.1.2. Determination retrieval performance
Based on the above optimal conditions, we shall determine the retrieval performance of the method
through 5 times for experiment. The results showed that determine retrieval performance reached
88.2%. This analysis demonstrated sufficient accuracy to determine arsenic in fish samples, meeting
the requirements of trace levels of analysis (Table 1).
Table 1. The results of determination retrieval performance
Order
number

Initial concentration As3+ (mg/l)

Determination content
Arsenic (mg/l)

Performance
(%)

0.05

0.0426

85.2

0.05

0.0397

79.4

0.05

0.0453

90.6

0.05

0.0463

92.6

0.05

0.0478

95.6

Average performance

88.68

3.1.3. Determination statistical error


On the basis of the selected optimum conditions, we shall determine the statistical error of the method
in five times experiments. The analysis results show that the method has the wrong number of small,
ie high precision and small coefficient of variation, indicating good repeatability (Table 2).
Table 2. The results of determination statistical error
Amount

Variance

Average
value

S2

Standard
deviation

Coefficient
of variation

Standard
error

Confiden
t border

Relative

Cv (%)

Sx

errors(%)

As3+
0,04
(ppm)

0,0384

4,48.10-9

6,69.10-5

1,74

2,99.10-5

8,31.10-5

2,17

As3+
0,06
(ppm)

0,0529

2,45.10-9

4,95.10-5

0,94

2,21.10-5

6,14.10-5

1,16

3.1.4. Process analysis


Based on the survey results above, we have established a process analysis of total arsenic in some sea
fish samples in Da Nang, the diagram is presented in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Process analysis of arsenic in sea fish samples

3.2. The results analysis sea fish samples


Based on the analysis process was built, we apply the analysis to determine total arsenic content in
some sea fish samples in Da Nang city by AAS method. The results analysis period (12.03.2012) are
shown in Table 3 and Figure 3 below.

Order
number
1
2
3
4
5

Table 3. The results analysis sea fish samples


Arsenic content
Order
Kinds of fish
Kinds of fish
number
(mg/kg)
Scomberomorus
maculatus
Cheilopogon
melanurus
Sardinella aurita

Salangichthys
microdon
Decapterus
0.078
7
maruadsi
Harpadon
0.076
8
nehereus
Teleostei Percida
Polynemus
0.101
9
borneensis
Plesiotrygon iwamae
Selaroides
0.214
10
leptolepis
National Technical Regulation on Ministry of Public Health
0.015

Arsenic content
(mg/kg)
0.032
0.072
0.097
0.193
0.058
1

Figure 3: Graph the results of analysis sea fish samples


Analysis results in Table 3 show that most of the sea fish samples contain content arsenic. The
content arsenic non-homogeneous in sea fish. Plesiotrygon iwamae and polynemus borneensis have
the highest content of arsenic (0.193-0.215mg / kg) of all. However, degree of safety is fall within the
scope of the regulation National Technical Regulation on Ministry of Public Health. This is also
suitable with studies on arsenic concentrations in sea fishes previously in many places. The sea fishes
have content of asenic which are higher as cheilopogon melanurus, sardinella aurita, teleostei percida,
decapterus maruadsi, harpadon nehereus (0.062mg/kg - 0.109mg/kg), and that are lowest as
acomberomorus maculatus salangichthys microdon, selaroides leptolepis (0.015-0.058mg/kg).

4. Conclusion
1. Having survey the solvent was used to treat samples sea fishes is the mixture of HCl: HNO3 (3: 1
by volume ratio): 15ml HCl concentrate, 5ml HNO3 concentrate .
2. Determining recovery yield of method, the results show recovery achieved 88.68%, the method
has high precision, good repeatability.
3. On the basis of the factors examined were proposed procedures analytic arsenic in sea fishes with
Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric.
4. Applying procedures analytic to determine content of total arsenic in some sea fishes in Da Nang
city. The analysis results shows that most of the fish samples contain content of arsenic.
Plesiotrygon iwamae and polynemus borneensis have the highest content of arsenic but all
samples degree of safety is fall within the scope of the regulation

References
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Assoc. UK, (14) (1926), 609-614.
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