What is EURL POPs?

The scope of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants in Feed and Food (EURL POPs) includes, since it was appointed to an extended scope in 2018, halogenated POPs such as PCDD/Fs, PCBs, brominated flame retardants and contaminants, PFAS, chlorinated paraffins and PCNs in both feed and food. As such, it is one of 25 EURLs in the field of feed and food control appointed by the European Commission.

What is EURL POPs?
What is EURL POPs?
What is EURL POPs?



This document summarizes background information and synthesises of supporting information on the prioritisation of specific PCN congeners in food. It is intended to support laboratories in method development and also to support future assessments with relevant as well as harmonised data. The guidance in this document is intended for laboratories involved in the official control of contaminants in food as part of the EURL’s official mandate and scope of work.


In this Guidance Document on the Estimation of LOQ for Measurements in the Field of Contaminants in Feed and Food of 2022 the four EURLs working in the field of contaminants - EURL for metals and nitrogenous compounds (MN), EURL for mycotoxins and plant toxins (MP), EURL for processing contaminants (PC) and EURL for halogenated POPs in feed and food (POPs - aim to describe, in a joint document, one recommended and generally applicable approach for estimation of LOQ. Other approaches may then be used only for sound reasons, e.g. if required by EU legislation or in case of elevated background levels.


This interlaboratory study (ILS) on the determination of several brominated contaminants (BCons), polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) and chlorinated paraffins (CPs) in fish oil is organized by the EURL for halogenated POPs in Feed and Food to be performed between May and September 2022 (first deadline, closed), April 2023 (second deadline) and until October 2023 (third round). The objective is to characterize a quality control material for method development purpose and quality control during routine analysis. Therefore up to five sets of results for all analyte groups can be reported until each deadline using the same or different methods. In addition, the focus is on the assessment of intra- and interlaboratory comparability of results from PBDEs, HBCDDs, TBBPA, eBFRs, PBDD/Fs, PXDD/Fs, PCNs and CPs in two fish oil samples. As a second exercise ready to measure solutions of CP technical mixtures are prepared to assess intra- and interlaboratory comparability of CP results. Laboratories performing CP analysis, or even just starting to analyse CPs, are encouraged to submit at least total CP results for fish oil and technical mixture samples. Official laboratories, research laboratories, universities and commercial laboratories performing the analysis of samples taken by food business operators are invited to participate in this interlaboratory study.

Interlaboratory studies and proficiency tests

The EURL provides proficiency testing for its main target analytes once a year in feed and food samples for the national reference laboratories of EU member states free of charge according to Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Other national reference laboratories, official control laboratories and commercial laboratories, performing analysis of samples taken by food or feed business operators, may participate for a fee.


Proficiency test on PCDD/Fs, PCBs, PBDEs and/or HBCDDs


Proficiency tests on per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances


Proficiency tests on short- and medium-chained chlorinated paraffins


Interlaboratory studies on polychlorinated naphthalenes


Interlaboratory studies on emerging and novel brominated contaminants

Working Groups and cooperations

The agenda of the CWG meetings includes several aspects regarding analytical methodologies, practical issues for laboratories to set up methods, proposals for analytical criteria and European Commission requests.


  • established in 2016
  • outcome: Guidance Document on the Analysis of Chlorinated Paraffins, Joint paper on analytical conundrums

CWG BCon and PCNs

  • established in 2018
  • outcome: Guidance Documents on Analytical Parameters for the Determination of Organobromine Contaminants


  • established in 2018
  • outcome: Guidance Document on Analytical Parameters for the Determination of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances

closed CWGs

  • Active 2012-2019
  • Topics: measurement uncertainty, analytical criteria for bioassays, MS techniques, congener patterns of PCDD/Fs and PCBs


  • Current and future international cooperations,
  • Outcome: furthering the science in fields related to EURL POPs’ scope
National Reference Laboratories across the EU

National Reference Laboratories across the EU

The national authorities of each of the 27 member states of the European Union declare National Reference Laboratories working in the scope of their respective EURL. The current addresses and contact data for the NRLs for halogenated POPs in feed and food can be found here.

Contact us