SREL Reprint #0768




Method for Detecting Trace-Element Contamination of Fish Samples from Handling

James G. Wiener



A statistical method to detect handling (surface) contamination of fish tissues and whole fish samples with trace elements is presented.  The method was applied to whole body and axial muscle samples of bluegill that were acid digested and analyzed for Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, and Zn.  Handling contamination of whole fish samples was not evident for any of the five trace elements, whereas handling contamination of muscle samples by Pb was indicated.  This contamination was not revealed by the combined analyses of a reference standard (NBS bovine liver) and procedural blanks.  Lead contamination of muscle samples probably resulted from contact with mucosal surface slime, which contains high concentrations of Pb relative to muscle tissue.


SREL Reprint #0768

Wiener, J.G. 1982. Method for detecting trace element contamination of fish samples from handling. Environmental Science and Technology 16:90-93.

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