Arsenic (As) is a naturally occurring element that is widely found in many samples including drinking water, soils, sediments and many foods. Arsenic compounds are also used commercially and industrially in the manufacture of a variety of products (e.g. semi-conductors and pesticides to name just a couple). Arsenic may also be present in waste waters from such processes as power generation and acid mine run off along with other elements of concern including mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) and antimony (Sb).


Consuming very high levels of As may lead to acute poisoning and death. However, exposure to lower levels are also of concern and may increase the risk of skin cancer, cancer in the liver, bladder and lungs.

There are two main forms of arsenic; inorganic and organic - with the inorganic species being the most toxic. The inorganic species; As (III) and As (V) are often grouped together as i-As. Monomethylarsonic (MMA), dimethyarsinic (DMA) and arsenobetaine (AsBet) are the organic species. MMA and DMA have lower toxicity than the inorganic forms and are normally present at much lower concentrations in water samples. AsBet is essentially non-toxic and is not normally found in water samples (although is often found in quite high levels in marine fish). The monitoring, measurement and removal of total As (T-As) and the various forms or species from water and waste water is therefore an important process and requires careful management.

Determination of Arsenic

For over 30 years P S Analytical (PSA) has been at the forefront of trace determinations from environmental samples. The determination of total As and also the associated inorganic and organic species is performed using hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (HG-AFS). The advantages of HG-AFS have been well documented and offer outstanding detection performance with easy to use and affordable systems.

For AFS details and user benefits, click here.

Applications - Arsenic


Typical applications include environmental samples such as ground water, drinking water, tap water food stuffs (e.g. milk, rice, fish & tea), soils & sludges, clinical samples (e.g. urine, blood and hair), and industrial effluents. 

P S Analytical has a wealth of application information that we are happy to share.

For Application notes, click here

Instrumentation for P S Analytical


To perform a successful analysis you will need an instrument. Whether you are a large contract laboratory, municipal council, research institution or involved in water and waste water treatment PS Analytical can help; ease of use, reliability and robustness as well as affordable running costs are hallmarks of the PS Analytical brand.

The Millennium Excalibur employs hydride generation chemistry and is ideal for ultra-trace determinations of As and the other hydride forming elements.

For Millennium Excalibur details, click here

For speciation studies (As (III), As (V), i-As, MMA, DMA and AsBet)


With the coupling of the dedicated speciation modules to the Millennium Excalibur. P S Analytical is able to integrate chromatography and digestion processes to facilitate speciation studies. Systems may be configured for fast screeninig (e.g. i-As only) or may be easily changed to look all of te species present for more comprehensive investigation.

For As speciation details, click here.

For Online Monitoring Analysis


P S Analytical offer a range of online systems for real time analysis, monitoring and management of drinking water supplies and wastewater discharges. The systems are based upon our successful laboratory product offerings. All of the hydride forming elements are considered highly toxic, environmentally sensitive and they are difficult to remove from drinking water supplies and wastewater discharges effective management treatment systems should to be monitored in real time using online measurements to ensure discharge limits are being achieved. We have supplied many industries including water supply, waste management, petrochemical, food, and industrial markets where online monitoring is required, often to ensure discharge limits are being achieved.

For As Online Monitoring information, click here

If you would like details on anything on this page then please click here to fill in our Information Request page and we'd be happy to assist.