Methodologies for determination of antimony in terrestrial environmental samples

J Environ Monit. 2000 Apr;2(2):97-109. doi: 10.1039/a907875d.


Methodologies for the environmental analysis of total antimony and aqueous chemical speciation are critically reviewed, including preparation techniques for aqueous and solid matrices and the determination of solid state partitioning and recommendations are given for future research directions. Concentrations of total antimony commonly present in aqueous and solid environmental samples are readily determined using present day analytical techniques. This has resulted primarily from technological advances in microwave digestion for solid matrices and the development of plasma based analyte detection systems. ICP-AES and ICP-MS techniques are both utilised for the environmental analysis of total antimony concentrations. However, ICP-MS is increasingly favoured as a result of reduced spectral interferences and the potential for analyte detection in the pg mL(-1) range. Determination of aqueous antimony speciation presents a number of complex analytical challenges and highly selective separation and identification techniques are required prior to detection. The majority of published techniques including common applications of hydride generation are insufficiently selective for the determination of intrinsic chemical speciation and often only oxidation state data are obtained. The recent in-line applications of HPLC-ICP-MS offer the potential for highly selective separations of aqueous antimony species and determination of detailed chemical speciation data. However, considerable development work is required to optimise chromatographic separations and identify uncharacterised species resident in environmental systems. Analytical techniques to aid the determination of antimony's associations with solid environmental matrices include the application of chemical extraction procedures and leaching experiments. To date, this area of analytical research has received little attention and further studies are required to elucidate this aspect of antimony's environmental chemistry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimony / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Antimony