Chromium Speciation of Drinking Waters by IC-ICP-MS

The EPA has set a maximum contaminant level for total chromium in drinking water to be 100 ppb. Chromium in waters exists in two different oxidation states: trivalent [Cr(III)] and hexavalent [Cr(VI)]. While trivalent chromium is an essential human dietary element, hexavalent chromium is a carcinogen and a reproductive toxicant, and can cause other health issues. Despite the lack of Federal regulations specific for Cr(VI) in drinking water in the US, it is critical to develop robust and rapid methods speciating chromium due to the different toxicities of Cr(III) and Cr(VI). Ion Chromatography (IC) coupled with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICPMS) has been developed for chromium speciation because ICPMS offers both multi-element and multi-isotope detection with high sensitivity. But the simultaneous separation of chromium is an unusual case since Cr(III) typically exists as cationic aqua-hydroxo complexes while Cr(VI) exists typically as an anionic chromate species. Typical methods to determine chromium speciation involve incubation of samples with complexing agents such as EDTA, which forms a complex with Cr (III) to allow a single chromatographic method to be used to separate Cr(III) and Cr(VI). It requires hours of sample preparation considering the time for adding complexing agent, as well as heating and cooling the samples. In this study, we explore and discuss the combination of a Shimadzu Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICPMS-2030) and a Shimadzu Prominence Ion Chromatography (IC) to determine chromium speciation in drinking water. A column to separate both cations and anions was used to avoid sample pretreatment with complexing agents, eliminate any possible risk of contamination as well as maximize sample throughput.

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Elemental Analysis / Atomic Spectroscopy (AA, ICP, ICPMS), High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC & UHPLC)
Chromium Speciation, Drinking Water, Environmental, Prominence Ion Chromatograph, ICPMS-2030 Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer
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