Monday, 14 March 2011

Thermo Fisher Scientific opens POPs Center of Excellence

Hans Joachim Huebschmann, technology manager for GC/MS at Thermo Fisher Scientific (left) and
Kyle D'Silva, product manager for GC/HRMS at Thermo Fisher Scientific (right)
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inctoday announced the opening of its Center of Excellence for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Staffed with experts in POPs analysis, the new center will support laboratories that research, measure and monitor dioxins and other POPs found in food and the environment. The center provides access to highly productive, value-added methods for identifying some of the most difficult to detect POPs. The first method developed by the centre provides an integrated workflow that includes instruments, software and consumables used in screening to confirmation. The workflow will be available from Thermo Scientific during Pittcon 2011, being held March 13-18, in Atlanta.

POPs are chemical substances produced by human activity and they are widely distributed in the environment by natural processes, persisting for many years after forming. POPs, such as dioxins, can be toxic to living organisms (including humans) as they accumulate in soft tissues, and contaminants can become more concentrated as they move up the food chain. As a result of their impact on health and the environment, the Stockholm Convention on POPs, administered by the United Nations Environment Program, has been signed by more than 160 nations to protect human health, wildlife and the environment.

Listed or proposed POPs specified in the Stockholm Convention include:

* Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs).
* Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
* Toxaphenes.
* Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs).
* Perfluorinated compounds.
* Brominated flame retardants (BFRs).
* Chlorinated paraffins.

The Thermo Fisher Center of Excellence for POPs, located in Bremen, Germany, is an industry-wide resource equipped with the latest technology and expertise to support collaborative projects, serving as a knowledge hub for POPs analysis and development of effective POPs methodologies. The centre will also partner with industry and governmental laboratories to improve the quality and efficiency of worldwide POPs monitoring.

Thermo Fisher has already developed an integrated POPs workflow solution at its new centre for routine, high-throughput sample analysis in POPs laboratories. The solution incorporates Thermo Scientific consumables, a Thermo Scientific TSQ Quantum XLS triple quadrupole GC-MS/MS for highly selective and fast screening and a Thermo Scientific DFS High Resolution GC-HRMS for high confidence, confirmatory analysis according to international regulations.

POPs analysis requires that large volumes of data must be reviewed, interpreted and reported.  The new POPs workflow solution includes Thermo Scientific TargetQuan software, designed specifically for large-scale data processing in this type of analysis. The software creates a direct connection to Thermo Scientific SampleManager LIMS (laboratory information management system) to offer sample and measurement traceability and complete laboratory management.

"Our scientists have developed turnkey methods for low-level screening, from fast, simplified sample clean-up to the confirmation analysis of non-compliant samples," said Hans-Joachim Huebschmann, technology manager for GC/MS at Thermo Fisher Scientific. "The new POPs Center of Excellence provides training for correct analytical method setup, selection of the separation columns and data handling."

"With the combination of TSQ QuantumT XLS triple quadrupole GC-MS/MS and DFS High Resolution GC-HRMS, we provide the necessary analytical tools for efficient environmental and food safety control," said Kyle D'Silva, product manager for GC/HRMS at Thermo Fisher Scientific. "Our goal is to support food manufacturers as well as governmental control and environmental labs in
responding with the necessary sensitivity and accuracy required for these challenging analyses."

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc