Determination of a total mercury content in urine - Health Care


The main way of mercury removal from human body is it s urinary excretion, which is an important diagnostic medium for screening examination of population, risk group determination, and diagnostics and treatment of mercury poisoning.

Personnel of mercury-involving pr oduction facilities all over the world are regularly examined for mercury content in urine. The backgro und mercury concentration in urine is at the 0.2–0.5 μ g/l level. The ultimate tolerable mercury concentration in urine is 10 μ g/l (for adults) and 5 μ g/l (for children under 12 years).

Method of determination of total mercury concentration in urine is based on the reduction of mercury cations to the atomic state using a stannous chloride re ducing solution in a reaction vessel of an RP-91 attachment (the 'cold vapor' technique) and then measuring the atomic mercury concentration in an analytical cell of a mercury analyzer RA-915M/RA-915+ with Zeeman background correction. The mercury content in a urine sample is determined by the value of integrated analytical signal with due account of a preset calibration coefficient.

The mercury content is measured by an RA-915+/915M mercury analyzer within 2 minutes.

Measurement ranges of mercury concentration in urine are as follows:

  • 0.05–10 μ g/l (with a multipath cell);
  • 0.2–200 μ g/l (with a single-path cell).