Using GC-MS Workflow Solutions for Complete Analysis of POPs in Food from Trace Level Screening to Confirmatory Analyses

June 6, 2011

The Column

Volume 6, Issue 10

This article describes the current requirements for the analysis of POPs and the measures taken to improve workflows, enabling high throughput and low complexity screening using GC-MS-MS.

The topic of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is one which is treated with increasing concern. POPs are chemical substances that are found in the environment and persist many years after formation. These chemicals bio-accumulate in fatty tissues and bio-magnify up the food chain potentially contaminating food consumed by humans. Due to this potential toxic contamination, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called for global action to be taken on POPs, leading to the international environmental treaty of the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants. This restricts the use of the most dangerous environmental contaminants; in 2010 the list of compounds was updated to include chlordecone, lindane and beta hexachlorocyclohexane. In addition, organizations are encouraged to regularly monitor the levels of POPs to eliminate potential pollution. This article describes the current requirements for the analysis of POPs and the measures taken to improve workflows, enabling high throughput and low complexity screening using GC–MS–MS.

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