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Cross-Working Group Activity Non-target Screening (NTS)



Co-ordinator: Eawag (Switzerland) 




In collaboration with EI, NIVA, NILU, UFZ, UoA, LCSB



Official starting date: September 2015



It is clear that the number of compounds measured today via target chemical analysis is not sufficient to provide an exhaustive overview of the quality status of our environment. The application of non-target screening techniques is needed to detect the presence of harmful substances (including degradation by-products and metabolites) beyond target approaches. 

NORMAN has a strong interest in promoting harmonisation of LC-HR-MS(MS) and GC-MS non-target-screening protocols, their application on different environmental matrices and their integration with biological monitoring tools. In connection with structure elucidation and pollution pattern recognition tools, this can facilitate the identification of possibly harmful compounds such as river basin specific pollutants (RBSPs). As non-target screening techniques are important for the prioritisation of chemicals (WG1), for the linkage between effects and chemical exposure (WG2 & WG3), as well as for the identification of emerging contaminants in the indoor environment (WG6) and through passive sampling, we have established NTS as a Cross-Working Group Activity. 

The activities of the NTS CWG Activity include:

  • Exchange and further development of smart non-target screening workflows from sample extraction through to analysis up to the final structure elucidation;
  • Set-up and maintenance of initiatives such as the Suspect List Exchange, the NormaNEWS and the RTI prediction model to facilitate exchange of reliable and comparable data in support of the identification of new contaminants of emerging concern;
  • Set-up of repositories for mass spectra (e.g. NORMAN MassBank, Digital Sample Freezing Platform) to support non-target identification;
  • Designing, coordination and evaluation of Collaborative Trials on non-target screening;
  • Regular workshops aligned with other meetings to keep up-to-speed with developments.




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