An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the determination of dioxins in contaminated sediment and soil samples

Jeanette M Van Emon, Jane C. Chuang, Robert A. Lordo, Mary E. Schrock, Mikaela Nichkova, Shirley J. Gee, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A 96-microwell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method was evaluated to determine PCDDs/PCDFs in sediment and soil samples from an EPA Superfund site. Samples were prepared and analyzed by both the ELISA and a gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (GC/HRMS) method. Comparable method precision, accuracy, and detection level (8 ng kg-1) were achieved by the ELISA method with respect to GC/HRMS. However, the extraction and cleanup method developed for the ELISA requires refinement for the soil type that yielded a waxy residue after sample processing. Four types of statistical analyses (Pearson correlation coefficient, paired t-test, nonparametric tests, and McNemar's test of association) were performed to determine whether the two methods produced statistically different results. The log-transformed ELISA-derived 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin values and log-transformed GC/HRMS-derived TEQ values were significantly correlated (r = 0.79) at the 0.05 level. The median difference in values between ELISA and GC/HRMS was not significant at the 0.05 level. Low false negative and false positive rates (<10%) were observed for the ELISA when compared to the GC/HRMS at 1000 ng TEQ kg-1. The findings suggest that immunochemical technology could be a complementary monitoring tool for determining concentrations at the 1000 ng TEQ kg-1 action level for contaminated sediment and soil. The ELISA could also be used in an analytical triage approach to screen and rank samples prior to instrumental analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2008


  • 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin
  • Immunoassay
  • PCDD
  • PCDF
  • TCDD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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