A review covering the field of environmental applications of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is presented. Recent developments and advances are discussed with emphasis on the presently popular thermospray, particle beam and atmospheric pressure ionisation interfaces. Each interface is described separately covering the principle of operation, typical detection limits and characteristics of the mass spectra. All reviewed interfacing techniques provide useful data for identification/confirmation of analytes with various chemical properties. The application-oriented part of the review primarily deals with polar pesticides and related compounds. However, generally speaking the conclusions which are drawn also hold true for other classes of micro-contaminants. LC-MS obviously is complementary to 'routine' GC-MS and it extends the boundaries of the 'analytical window' of mass spectrometry to polar, non-volatile and/or thermolabile compounds. LC-MS is a powerful tool in environmental analysis and especially when it is combined with appropriate sample-treatment procedures it allows one to obtain detection limits adequate for trace-level analysis. © 1995.