Hydride-forming arsenic species = toxic species ?
It is generally accepted that the use of the hydride generation method to produce volatile species from arsenic compounds is restricted to the two inorganic forms (As(III) and As(V)) and the three simple methylated compounds methylarsonate (MA), dimethylarsinate acid (DMA), and trimethylarsine oxide (TMAO).
During the ICEBAMO conference at Pau/France, the research group from the University of Graz reported the formation of a volatile species from arsenosugars by reaction with NaBH4 in presence of HCl. Under optimized conditions the efficiency of vapour generation reached 20-30% and was even higher than those from As(V) (18%). The often applied approach to use hydride generation as a simple method to distinguish toxic arsenic species from non-toxic ones therefore has to be questioned.
Source: Presentation given at ICEBAMO 03, Pau, France, December 3-5, 2003