Distribution and fate of biologically formed organoarsenicals in coastal marine sediment

Mio Takeuchi, Aki Terada, Kenji Nanba, Yutaka Kanai, Masato Owaki, Takeshi Yoshida, Takayoshi Kuroiwa, Hisashi Nirei, Takeshi Komai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Marine organisms, including phyto- and zoo-plankton, macroalgae, and animals, concentrate arsenic in various organic forms. However, the distribution and fate of these organoarsenicals in marine environments remains unclear. In this study, the distribution of organoarsenicals in coastal marine sediment in Otsuchi Bay, Japan, has been determined. Methylarsonic acid, dimethylarsinic acid, trimethylarsine oxide, arsenobetaine, arsenocholine and other unidentified arsenic species were detected in marine sediment by high-performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis of methanol-water extracts. Arsenobetaine was the dominant organoarsenical at four of the seven stations where tests were carried out, and unidentified species or dimethylarsinic acid dominated at the other stations. Total organoarsenicals (as arsenic) in the surface sediment amounted to 10.6-47.5 μg kg-1 dry sediment. Core analysis revealed that concentrations of organoarsenicals decreased with depth, and they are considered to be degraded within 60 years of deposition. These results show that organoarsenicals formed by marine organisms are delivered to the sediment and can be degraded within several decades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-951
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Organometallic Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Aug


  • Arsenic
  • Arsenobetaine
  • Marine sediment
  • Organoarsenicals
  • Sedimentation rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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