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Title: Inorganic arsenic in biological samples using field deployable techniques
Author: Edi, Bralatei
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 1984
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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Arsenic (As) exposure through water and As contaminated food in rural areas around the world is well documented. While there are accurate, precise, and even robust screening methods for on-site water analysis, the determination of toxic inorganic As (iAs, a class I carcinogen) in foodstuff has been made possible through methods based on mass spectrometry. No screening or field method for iAs in food has been established and, there is also a lack of screening and monitoring methods for human exposure to iAs. The objectives of this thesis were to develop and apply a robust, reliable and well established screening method which is field deployable for the measurement of iAs in rice and seaweed in addition to the total As metabolites in human urine resulting from exposure to inorganic As. Reported in this work is the development and application of optimised field deployable methods based on the Gutzeit reaction with the aid of a field test kit (FTK) for the determination of iAs in rice, rice-based products, edible seaweeds and seaweeds cultivated from their natural habitat. The methods involve simple sample extraction by boiling in nitric acid before analysis with the FTK. Results were obtained in under an hour with the FTK and further validated with speciation analysis by HPLC-ICP-MS (High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry). Analysis of 30 store-bought rice samples with the field method gave good reproducibility (± 12 %) for samples with variable As concentrations. The results were comparable to those obtained by HPLC-ICP-MS with no contribution from organoarsenicals. Screening analysis with the field method based on recent regulations for inorganic arsenic in rice also gave low false positive and false negative rates ( < 10 %) for violations against these regulations, an indication that the method can accurately identify samples that are above or below the recommended maximum contaminant limits for iAs in rice. Similarly, results from the seaweed analysis with the field method were also comparable to those from speciation analysis by HPLC-ICP-MS with limited bias between the set of data from both vii methods. Optimisation of extraction methods using a subset of samples gave 80-95% iAs recovery with no contribution from the organoarsenicals present in the samples. The determination of total As metabolites in urine from the exposure to iAs could not be done directly using the FTK. In this case, the method involved the use of UV photolysis with persulphate and titanium dioxide as oxidizing agents for the conversion of methylated As species (DMA) to the inorganic form before analysis with the FTK. A partial determination of DMA with the FTK in urine matrix was demonstrated but this needs to be studied further for the development of a robust field method for monitoring human exposure to iAs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Arsenic ; Rice ; Marine algae as food