POPscreen – Identification of emerging organic pollutants in archived biota

Last changed: 03 June 2024
Rain drops on a water surface. Photo.

The aim of POPScreen was to improve monitoring and emission control by developing screening methodology and screen for pollutants in biological samples.

Thousands of chemicals are continuously emitted from the society into the environment and may cause adverse effects on wildlife and humans. The chemicals of most concern are substances with PBT properties, i.e. chemicals that are highly persistent (P), liable to bioaccumulate (B), and toxic (T). However, there is a huge lack of knowledge on occurrence and levels of contaminants of emerging concern in food webs. In this project, we wanted to screen for known emerging chemicals, previously unknown (or not well known) chemicals, and their transformation products in time series of biota by using the biological sample bank at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Screening methodology for emerging organic pollutants was developed and the new/improved methodology was applied for marine, limnic, and terrestrial top predators using high resolution mass-spectrometry.

The ultimate aim was to identify priority pollutants for monitoring and emission control and provide new knowledge to incorporate in e.g. environmental monitoring programs, and to support international directives and action plans.


Dürig W., Alygizakis N.A., Wiberg K., Ahrens L. (2022). Application of a novel prioritisation strategy using non-target screening for evaluation of temporal trends (1969-2017) of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in archived lynx muscle tissue samples, Science of the Total Environment, 817:15303.

Dürig W., Alygizakis N., Menger F., Golovko O., Wiberg K., Ahrens L. (2022). Novel prioritisation strategies for evaluation of temporal trends in archived white-tailed sea eagle muscle tissue in non-target screening, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 424:Part A:12733. 

Dürig W., Kintzi A., Golovko O., Wiberg K., Ahrens L. (2020). New extraction method prior to screening of organic micropollutants in various biota matrices using liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry, Talanta, 219:121294. 

Dürig W., Tröger R., Andersson P.L., Rybacka A., Fischer S., Wiberg K., Ahrens L. (2019). Development of a suspect screening prioritization tool for organic compounds in water and biota, Chemosphere, 222:904-912.



SLU: Karin Wiberg, Wiebke Dürig, Lutz Ahrens
Umeå University: Peter Haglund
Swedish Museum of Natural History: Anders Bignert

Swedish EPA (Naturvårdsverket)