Analysis of dioxins in contaminated soils with the calux and caflux bioassays, an immunoassay, and gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry

Malin Nording, Michael S. Denison, David Baston, Ylva Persson, Erik Spinnel, Peter Haglund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


The chemically activated luciferase expression assay, the chemically activated fluorescence expression assay, and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) are all bioanalytical methods that have been used for the detection and quantification of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). However, no comparisons of the results obtained by these three methods have been published analyzing identical replicates of purified sample extracts. Therefore, we have evaluated the performance of each of these methods for analyzing PCDD/Fs in aliquots of extracts from aged-contaminated soil samples and compared the results with those obtained by gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (GC/HRMS). The quantitative performance was assessed and the effects of sample purification and data interpretation on the quality of the bioassay results were investigated. Results from the bioanalytical techniques were, in principle, not significantly different from each other or from the GC/HRMS data (p = 0.05). Furthermore, properly used, all of the bioanalytical techniques examined were found to be sufficiently sensitive, selective, and accurate to be used in connection with soil remediation activities when aiming at the remediation goal recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (i.e., < 1,000 pg toxic equivalency/g). However, a site-specific correction factor should be applied with the use of the ELISA to account for differences between the toxic equivalency factors and the ELISA cross-reactivities of the various PCDD/F congeners, which otherwise might significantly underestimate the PCDD/F content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1122-1129
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007



  • Dioxin
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  • Soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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