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The Investigation of Unexpected Arsenic Compounds Observed in Routine Biological Monitoring Urinary Speciation Analysis

Health and Safety Executive, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 9JN, UK
Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wayne Briner
Toxics 2017, 5(2), 12;
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 20 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Heavy Metals Toxicology)
PDF [1550 KB, uploaded 22 May 2017]


This study investigates the identity of two unexpected arsenic species found separately in a number of urine samples sent to the Health and Safety Executive’s Health and Safety Laboratory for arsenic speciation (arsenobetaine, AB; arsenite, As3+; arsenate, As5+; monomethylarsonic acid, MMA5+; and dimethylarsinic acid, DMA5+). Micro liquid chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (µLC-ICP-MS) and electrospray time of flight tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-QqTOF-MS/MS) were used to identify the two arsenic peaks by comparison to several characterized arsenicals: arsenocholine, AC; trimethyl arsine oxide, TMAO; dimethylarsenoacetate, DMAA; dimethylarsenoethanol, DMAE; thio-dimethylarsinate, thio-DMA; thio-dimethylarsenoacetate, thio-DMAA and thio-dimethylarsenoethanol, thio-DMAE. The results from both the ICP-MS and ESI-QqTOF-MS/MS investigations indicate that the unexpected arsenic species termed peak 1 was thio-DMA. While the unexpected arsenic species termed peak 2 has yet to be identified, this investigation shows that it was not AC, TMAO, DMAA, DMAE, thio-DMA, thio-DMAA or thio-DMAE. This study demonstrates the incidence of unexpected arsenic species in both routine and non-routine urine samples from both workers and hospital patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: arsenic; speciation; thioarsenical; thio-DMA; urine; exposure; ICP-MS; oxoarsenicals. arsenic; speciation; thioarsenical; thio-DMA; urine; exposure; ICP-MS; oxoarsenicals.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Leese, E.; Clench, M.; Morton, J.; Gardiner, P.H.; Carolan, V.A. The Investigation of Unexpected Arsenic Compounds Observed in Routine Biological Monitoring Urinary Speciation Analysis. Toxics 2017, 5, 12.

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