Occurrence of monoethylmercury in the Florida Everglades: identification and verification

Environ Pollut. 2010 Nov;158(11):3378-84. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.07.031. Epub 2010 Aug 17.


A few studies have reported the occurrence of monoethylmercury (CH(3)CH(2)Hg(+)) in the natural environment, but further verification is needed due to the lack of direct evidence and/or uncertainty in analytical procedures. Various analytical techniques were employed to verify the occurrence of CH(3)CH(2)Hg(+) in soil of the Florida Everglades. The identity of CH(3)CH(2)Hg(+) in Everglades soil was clarified, for the first time, by GC/MS. The employment of the recently developed aqueous phenylation-purge-and-trap-GC coupled with ICPMS confirmed that the detected CH(3)CH(2)Hg(+) was not a misidentification of CH(3)SHg(+). Stable isotope-tracer experiments further indicated that the detected CH(3)CH(2)Hg(+) indeed originated from Everglades soil and was not an analytical artifact. All these evidence clearly confirmed the occurrence of CH(3)CH(2)Hg(+) in Everglades soil, presumably as a consequence of ethylation occurring in this wetland. The prevalence of CH(3)CH(2)Hg(+) in Everglades soil suggests that ethylation could play an important role in the biogeochemical cycling of Hg.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Environment
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Florida
  • Organomercury Compounds / analysis*
  • Soil / chemistry*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*


  • Organomercury Compounds
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants