Arsenic and its speciation analysis using high-performance liquid chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

J Chromatogr A. 2004 Aug 6;1045(1-2):1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2004.06.016.


It is known that arsenic has different toxicological properties dependent upon both its oxidation state for inorganic compounds, as well as the different toxicity levels exhibited for organic arsenic compounds. The field of arsenic speciation analysis has grown rapidly in recent years, especially with the utilization of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), a highly sensitive and robust detector system. Complete characterization of arsenic compounds is necessary to understand intake, accumulation, transport, storage, detoxification and activation of this element in the natural environment and living systems. This review describes the essential background and toxicity of arsenic in the environment, and more importantly, some currently used chromatographic applications and sample handling procedures necessary to accurately detect and quantify arsenic in its various chemical forms. Applications and work using only HPLC-ICP-MS for arsenic speciation of environmental and biological samples are presented in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / analysis
  • Arsenic / classification*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Arsenic