Orbitrap Illustration

Targeted Screening & Quantitation

Ensuring the safety of the world’s drinking water supply is critically important. The health of the world’s lakes, rivers, streams and oceans can be impacted by human and natural activities, and monitoring of these resources is of increasing concern worldwide. Screening water samples for targeted contaminants, such as pesticides, herbicides, and other pollutants, followed by quantification of these contaminants, is one possible experiment. Screening water samples for unknown contaminants is another possible experiment and is one of the most challenging workflows in the laboratory, requiring a different experimental and data analysis approach. High-resolution, accurate-mass (HR/AM) mass spectrometry is ideally suited for this difficult analysis. With the high-resolution capabilities and fast scanning speed of Orbitrap™-based platforms, screening water for hundreds of contaminants can be performed in less time than ever before. Results can be delivered quickly, and the safety of our water can be ensured.

For additional resources, search the Orbitrap Science Library

Workflow Overview for Targeted Screening & Quantitation of Environmental Contaminants

For targeted screening of water, field-collected samples arrive at the lab and are logged into the system. Samples are processed and contaminants are extracted using various extraction techniques, from online solid-phase extraction to offline extractions, prior to analysis on the mass spectrometer.  The data is scrutinized using automated software and the results are verified by the scientist. The goal for most targeted screening workflows is to identify if a contaminant is present, and if it is, how much is in the sample.


Identification of transformation products of organic contaminants in natural waters by computer-aided prediction and high-resolution mass spectrometry

Kern S, Fenner K, et al.
Environ Sci Technol. 2009 Sep 15;43(18):7039-46.


High-resolution mass spectrometry method for the detection, characterization and quantitation of pharmaceuticals in water

Pinhancos R, Maass S, et al.
J Mass Spectrom. 2011 Nov;46(11):1175-81.


Rapid quantification of pharmaceuticals and pesticides in passive samplers using ultra high performance liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry

Wille K, Claessens M, et al.
J Chromatogr A. 2011 Dec 23;1218(51):9162-73.