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Radiochemical Determination of Metallic Mercury Vapour in Air
  1. L. Magos
  1. The Toxicology Research Unit, Medical Research Council Laboratories, Carshalton, Surrey


    A radiochemical method has been developed for the estimation of atmospheric mercury. When air containing mercury is passed through a solution of 203Hg-mercuric acetate and KCL, isotope exchange takes place so that the issuing air contains the same concentration of mercury, but labelled and with the same specific activity as the reagent solution. The 203Hg is absorbed on hopcalite and estimated by gamma scintillation counting. The standard deviation of the method is 0·004 μg.Hg/litre in concentrations up to 0·2 μg.Hg/litre, and is 0·075 μg.Hg/litre in the range 0·2-1·2 μg.Hg/litre concentration. The method is simple and can be used for snap or long-run sampling, and with continuous recording.

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