Research Interests & Publications

Department of Chemistry

Research Interests & Publications


Analytical Chemistry, Arsenic Speciation Analysis in Biological and Environmental Systems
My research focused on the development and application of analytical methods that enabled arsenic speciation in biological and environmental samples. Arsenic is classified as a Group 1 human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer1. It is a trace element that is less abundant than many of the rare-earth elements in the Earth’s continental crust; however, arsenic is ubiquitous in the environment, which can be found in soil, rock, water, and air2. Chronic arsenic exposure causes serious health effects, including cancer of the skin, lungs, urinary bladder, and kidney3. Arsenic is present in various chemical forms, with different oxidation states and degrees of methylation that significantly influence their cytotoxicity and genotoxicity4. It is critical to conduct speciation analysis to more accurately reflect the magnitude of arsenic exposure.
Most epidemiological studies were conducted on exposure to higher concentrations of arsenic. It is still not clear whether exposure to lower level of arsenic, for example at the limit of 10 µg/L set by the World Health Organization and the Canadian Drinking Water Guideline, has a negative health impact3. It is analytically challenging to accurately determine trace concentrations of individual arsenic species in complex sample matrices, such as human urine and human lung carcinoma cells. Therefore, it is necessary to develop stringent analytical approaches to enhance the determination of arsenic metabolites at trace concentrations relevant to environmental exposure of low level of arsenic.
1 Some drinking-water disinfectants and contaminants, including arsenic (IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans), Vol. 84, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, 2004.
2 R.A. Burwash, R.R. Culbert, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 16 (1979) 2196–2203.
3 Environmental Health Criteria 224 - Arsenic and Arsenic Compounds, World Health Organization, International Programme on Chemical Safety, Geneva, Switzerland, 2001.
4 H.V. Aposhian, R.A. Zakharyan, M.D. Avram, M.J. Kopplin, M.L. Wollenberg, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 193 (2003) 1–8.

Dept. of Chemistry
Brock University
1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catharines, ON
Canada, L2S 3A1
Tel: (905) 688-5550 x3406

Administrative Assistant:
Marie Harris

Razvan Simionescu