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Tobacco Science & Technology, 2010, 8, p. 46-49., ISSN.1002-0861

Determination of total mercury in tobacco materials by thermal decomposition and cold atomic absorption spectrometry

1. Technology Center of Beijing Cigarette Factory, Shanghai Tobacco Group, Beijing 101121, P.R. China; 2. Beijing LabTech Ltd., Beijing 101312, P.R. China

The contents of total mercury (Hg) in various tobacco materials, such as cut tobacco, filter rod, packaging, flavor, and tipping paper, were determined by thermal decomposition and cold atomic absorption spectrometry. The results showed that: 1) The recoveries of Hg were from 97.6% to 103.0% with the RSD of 0.59% to 2.47% and the limit of detection of 0.038 μg/kg in the span of 0 to 1000 μg/L. 2) The directly measured results were slightly higher than those found in digested samples; and not obviously different from those by digestion-atomic fluorescence spectrometry. 3) The contents of total Hg in tested samples were in the range of 0.48 to 97.16 μg/kg. The method is suitable for fast analysis of total Hg in batches of tobacco material samples.