This report presents the methods and method performance data for the determination of methylmercury concentrations in solids and suspended solids. Using the methods outlined here, the U.S. Geological Survey's Wisconsin District Mercury Laboratory can consistently detect methylmercury in solids and suspended solids at environmentally relevant concentrations. Solids can be analyzed wet or freeze dried with a minimum detection limit of 0.08 ng/g (as-processed). Suspended solids must first be isolated from aqueous matrices by filtration. The minimum detection limit for suspended solids is 0.01 ng per filter resulting in a minimum reporting limit ranging from 0.2 ng/L for a 0.05 L filtered volume to 0.01 ng/L for a 1.0 L filtered volume. Maximum concentrations for both matrices can be extended to cover nearly any amount of methylmercury by limiting sample size.
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Methods for the preparation and analysis of solids and suspended solids for methylmercury