A discussion about public health, lead and Legionella pneumophila in drinking water supplies in the United States.
Speciation of inorganic lead (Pb2+) and several trialkyllead species (trimethyllead chloride [TML], triethyllead chloride [TEL], and triphenyllead chloride [TPhL]) is investigated using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with detection by both inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Reversed-phase, ion-pairing, and ion-exchange HPLC modes are studied. Optimal chromatographic conditions for ICP-AES detection include a reversed-phase separation utilizing a step gradient from 10 to 70% methanol. However, the gradient has been found to destabilize the plasma when using ICP-MS detection. An isocratic separation with a 30% methanol mobile phase has been found to be the best compromise between plasma stability and chromatographic resolution. Detection limits using ICP-MS detection are 3 orders of magnitude improved over ICP-AES detection.