ERM-CE101: A new CRM for assessing environmental quality through fish
The European Joint Research Centre (JRC) just released a new trout muscle certified reference material (ERM-CE101), supporting the reliable monitoring of mercury concentrations in fish.
Mercury is a global pollutant in the environment, being found even in remotest regions of the earth. Pollution of watercourses is a concern throughout Europe. The European
Commission therefore requires Member States to monitor and report on
their condition (Directive 2000/60/EC
). Legislation specifies environmental quality standards (EQS). These are
set, based on the levels of contaminants in different compartments of
the ecosystem (Directive 2013/39/EU
). For mercury, the design and validation of methods to measure these EQS might present a challenge for laboratories. One such way to monitor compliance with EQS is to sample fish from these environments and look for the levels of contaminants that they contain.
The new CRM:
Many are concerned with measuring mercury in fish at levels close to the legislative limits for food (Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006
which are over an order of magnitude higher than the EQS. Hence, a new
Certified Reference Material (CRM) with mercury content close to the EQS
was considered an important tool for validation of methods.
The JRC therefore produced ERM-CE101, which is a matrix material
produced from fresh fish (mainly trout) and certified for the mass
fractions of elements.
It is a new type of CRM, a paste of fresh fish muscle sealed and
sterilized in glass jars, which should have the same chemical behaviour
as fresh fish samples. It will thus improve the reliability of the
analysis of this type of sample.
The CRM is available from the JRC as well as from its authorised
distributors. A full report on the production and certification of the
CRM is available through the online catalogue:
EUR-Lex: Maximum levels for mercury in certain foods have been established by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 (see Section 3.3 of the Annex).
EUR-Lex: Provisions for methods of sampling and analysis for the official control
of lead, cadmium, mercury, inorganic tin, 3-MCPD and benzo(a)pyrene in
foodstuffs are laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 333/2007
Related EVISA Resources
Material Database: Fish CRMs
Material Database: ERM-CE101: Trout Muscle (Trace Elements)
Brief Summary: Speciation Analysis - Striving for Quality
Link Database: Mercury exposure through the diet
Link Database: Environmental cycling of methylmercury
Link Database: Environmental cycling of inorganic mercury
Link Database: Environmental pollution of methylmercury
Link Database: Environmental pollution of inorganic mercury
Link Database: Toxicity of mercury
Related EVISA News
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the mercury found in hair of environmental journalists November 23, 2004: Is the methylmercury paradox real ? April 27, 2004: FDA/EPA recommends pregnant women to restrict
their fish consumption because of methylmercury content
January 29, 2017: Toxic Mercury in Aquatic Life Could Spike due to Climate Change
January 14, 2013: Mercury Levels in Humans and Fish Around the World Regularly Exceed Health Advisory Levels
last time modified: March 31, 2019