Pollutants from small serum volume (micro POP)

The method is primarily used in collaborative research projects, and other analytical services are agreed on a case by case basis. Written requests and contacts:
Environmental pollutant analysis

The method is used for the analysis of most typical environmental pollutants from a very small sample volume (100–200 µl of plasma or serum). The method is suitable for epidemiological research and the analysis of large scale sample collections with hundreds or thousands of samples. The method can be adjusted according to the needs of the customer, for example by adding compounds to the standard set.

Cotinine is often analyzed together with environmental pollutants in epidemiologic studies, as an indicator of tobacco smoke exposure:


  • The method is accredited with a flexible scope for all matrices and analytes listed below

Number of samples 

  • Also for single samples
  • Matrices
  • Serum, plasma and breast milk

Method description

  • Samples are digested with ethanol and the analytes are extracted with dichloromethane/hexane. The extract is cleaned with a silica column. The quantification is performed with a gas chromatograph coupled to a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (GC-MS/MS).

Limit of quantification

  • 5.0–40 pg/ml

Sampling instructions

  • Sample container: glass or polyethene (PE)
  • Minimum sample amount: 200 μl
  • Maximum storage time: +7°C for 3 days, -18°C for at least 20 years, -70°C or in liquid nitrogen indefinitely
  • See also the general sampling instructions that apply to all analyses:
    Environmental pollutant analysis


  • Frozen in cold package


  • Pentachlorobenzene (PeCB)
  • Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)
  • alpha-Hexachlorocyclohexane (α-HCH)
  • beta-Hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH)
  • gamma-Hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH)
  • Oxychlordane
  • Trans-nonachlor
  • p,p´-DDT
  • p,p´-DDE
  • PCB 28
  • PCB 52
  • PCB 74
  • PCB 99
  • PCB 101
  • PCB 118
  • PCB 138
  • PCB 153
  • PCB 156
  • PCB 170
  • PCB 180
  • PCB 183
  • PCB 187
  • PBDE 47
  • PBDE 99
  • PBDE 153

FINAS and ILAC MRA accreditation symbols.

THL's scope of accreditation

The unit is a FINAS accredited testing laboratory T077. It has been accredited according to the standard SFS-EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and its scope of accreditation is available on the website of FINAS (Finnish Accreditation Service).

Work order

The work order must be included in the shipment of samples along with an itemized sample list, if needed.

Work order for environmental pollutant analyses (PDF 132 KB)

On our website