Total arsenic, arsenite, arsinate and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) were selectively determined in natural waters by hydride generation - atomic absorption spectrometry, using sodium tetrahydroborate(III) as reductant but in different reduction media. River water samples from the north region of Paraná State, Brazil, were analysed and showed arsenate as the principal arsenical form. Detection limits found for As(III) (citrate buffer), As(III) + DMA (acetic acid) and As(III) + As(V) (hydrochloric acid) were 0.6, 1.1 and 0.5 mg As L-1, respectively. Sample storage on the proper reaction media revealed to be a useful way to preserve the water sample.
natural waters; arsenic speciation; atomic absorption spectrometry; sample storage