Interlaboratory assessments for dioxin-like POPs (2016/2017 and 2018/2019)

Heidelore Fiedler*, Ike van der Veen, Jacob de Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the two rounds of the UNEP-coordinated ‘Biennial interlaboratory assessments of POPs laboratories, which were implemented in 2016/2017 and 2018/2019, 56 and 46 laboratories submitted results for dioxin-like persistent organic pollutants (dl-POPs). Test matrices consisted of solutions of analytical standards and naturally contaminated sediment, air extract, fish and human milk. Performance assessment using z-scores so that satisfactory performance corresponded to 2 z = ±25%, which is recommended for laboratories submitting data to the global monitoring plan of the Stockholm Convention on POPs. Participation has shown that analytical capacity for analyzing dl-POPs exist in all UN regions; however, in Africa and Central and Eastern European countries capacities are (very) limited; in Latin America capacity is increasing. The presence of dioxin laboratories is not limited to industrialized or OECD countries but also present in developing countries such as China, Brazil, Egypt, Thailand, or Vietnam. Laboratories using established methods based on gas chromatographs coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometers (sector field instruments only) by far had the best results. Among the test samples, human milk and especially fish in the last round posed severe problems to all laboratories so that performance must improve, especially in foodstuffs at (very) low concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132449
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue numberPart 1
Early online date1 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The contribution of the projects to support POPs monitoring in developing country regions financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UN Environment Programme ( UNEP ; Geneva, Switzerland) is greatly acknowledged. QUASIMEME and Wim Cofino are acknowledged for statistical support. We thank all laboratories for participation in the interlaboratory assessments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins
  • Polychlorinated dibenzofurans
  • Proficiency testing
  • Z-scores


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