Certified Reference Materials for the Analysis of Environmental Samples for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Oral Presentation

Prepared by E. Reiner1, N. Riddell2, B. Chittim3, A. Myers1, K. Jobst1
1 - Ontario Minsitry of the Environment and Climate Change, 125 Resources Road, Toronto, Ontario, M9B 5R3, Canada
2 - Wellington Laboratories, 345 Southgate Dr, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 3M5, Canada
3 - Wellington Laboratories, , , United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 416-235-5748


The analysis of environmental samples for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is very challenging due to the very low levels of analytes present in most samples. A number of POPs are listed in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants requiring them to be monitored and regulated globally. Analytical methods for regulated compounds must produce accurate and precise data. In most cases, matrix co-extractables are present at orders of magnitude greater than the analytes being tested. The use of Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) is one of the most powerful tools for the validation of analytical methods and to assess and monitor the quality of data and performance of an analytical laboratory. There are very few CRMs available for assessment of a number of the more challenging POPs: Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins, Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans, Dioxin-like PCBs and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in environmental samples at typical background levels. Finding candidate materials that can be produced into homogeneous reference materials for a variety of analyte groups at environmentally relevant levels can be challenging. The development and use of CRMS for method validation and performance assessment of environmental analytical methods for persistent organic pollutants will be discussed.