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ICMGP 2022 – On-Demand / Poster Presentation

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Abstract Title: Dimethylmercury in Natural Waters: Experimental and Analytical Considerations
Presenter Name: Johannes West
Company/Institution: Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University
Session: Mercury in Marine Ecosystems
Co-Authors: Johannes West,Diana Babi,Andrew Graham,Sofi Jonsson

Abstract Information :

Despite constituting about half of the methylated Hg in marine waters, comprehensive studies and publications of dimethylmercury (DMHg) are relatively few. This can partly be attributed to the extreme toxicity and volatility of DMHg, which makes it challenging to study under safe conditions. In addition, its susceptibility to degassing and acidolysis complicates the preservation of DMHg during ordinary lab practices for aqueous Hg. Unfortunately, a general lack of research on DMHg undermines the understanding of its role in the global Hg cycle, which may be essential given its potential role as a precursor for bioaccumulating monomethylmercury (MMHg). Future efforts should therefore be made to increase the number of studies on DMHg in both terrestrial and marine aquatic environments. Here, we have collected experiences from laboratory work on DMHg, and present several considerations recommended for future studies. These considerations encompass all procedural steps from sampling (the effect of various filters on DMHg recovery) to laboratory work (simple synthesis of DMHg, stability of DMHg in solution and considerations on adsorption and methods for transfer), and analysis (interfering substances for DMHg analysis and the validity of calibrating for DMHg using MMHg standards). Altogether, our advice acts as general guidelines for successful studies on one of the most puzzling parts of the Hg cycle.

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