Biota analysis

Biota analysis for metals and organic contaminants

ALS Scandinavia offers analysis of biota (plants and animals) for environmental contaminants. We offer a wide range of metal analyses and testing of organic contaminants. Additionally, ALS provides sample preparation that is specialized for the sample type at hand. Our qualified personnel can also perform dissection of fish or shellfish for analysis of liver or muscle samples. Heads and gills can be used for age determination.

Analytical portfolio

ALS Scandinavia has a wide range of analytical solutions for contaminants in biota, both for metals and organic contaminants. We can for example offer analysis of the prioritized compounds for biota according to the water framework directive 2013/39/EU. In addition to our analytical packages presented on our webpage, we are able to offer several other analyses of biota such as musk substances, bisphenol A, nonyl- and octylphenol and up to about 70 metals or elements. Please contact us if you would like to analyze substances that are not listed on our webpage. 

Sample preparation and dissection of fish and mussels/clams

ALS Scandinavia offers dissection of fish and mussels or clams. We dissect the liver and/or muscle from fish and tissue from mussels/clams. We are also able to perform age determination of fish, using the head and gills. Upon request, we can determine the sex of fish and measure the length and the weight of the fish. If you need to determine the fat content or the dry weight, we can offer that as well.

A selection of analytical packages:

Analysis Analytical package
Arsenic speciation OB-19d Arsenic speciation in food and biota
Brominated flame retardants OB-25a Brominated flame retardants in biota
Brominated flame retardants incl TBBP-A OB-25a Brominated flame retardants incl TBBP-A in biota
Dioxins, furans OB-22 Dioxins and furans in biota
Coplanar and indicator PCB OB-2b Coplanar and indicator PCB
Fat content in fish Fat in fish
Phthalates OB-4a Phthalates in biota
Chlorobenzenes OB-8 Chlorobenzenes in biota
Chlorinated pesticides OB-3a Chlorinated pesticides in biota
Chloroparaffins OB-32 Chloroparaffins in biota
Mercury in fish muscle Mercury in fish muscle

M-4 Metals in biota

S01 Screening of elements
Methyl mercury OB-19e Methyl mercury in biota
Organophosphates OB-25c Organophosphates (flame retardants, plasticizers) in biota
PAH OB-1 PAH in biota
PCB7 OB-2a PCB in biota
Perfluorinated compounds OB-34a Perfluorinated compounds in biota
PFOS and PFOA OB-34b PFOS and PFOA in biota
Selenium speciation OB-19f Selenium speciation
Organotin compounds OB-19a Organotin compounds in biota

Other services

Dissection (fish, mussel)
Age determination (fish)
Freeze drying
Determination of sex (fish)

We are able to offer several additional analyses not listed above, please contact us for more information.

Recommendations when sending biota samples for analysis

  • Please ship fish and shellfish/mussels/clams frozen. Samples should be kept frozen during transport and upon arrival to the laboratory.
  • Please send enough sample material for the requested analyses. As an example, the weight of the liver of a 300-400 g fish is around 8-10 g. The dry weight of the liver is approximately 20%, i.e. the dry weight is around 1-2 g from the fish.
  • Mussels/clams: Please rinse the mussels/clams in the same water that they have been collected from. It is important that the mussels/clams are cleansed from sand and sediment.
  • If you wish to have the length of the fish measured, please do not send the fish rolled or bent, as we measure the length in frozen condition.
  • If you know that you may request supplementary analyses, we would prefer to have such information before we dissects the samples. This enables us to store additional material for any supplementary analyses.

Why analyze biota?

Analyses of biota, such as fish, mussels, clams, bird eggs and moss, can be useful to examine the concentration of contaminants that are accumulated in plants and animals in a certain region. By performing annual sampling, one can follow how the concentrations of metals and organic contaminants vary over time in the region or between regions. Certain contaminants are more easily accumulated than others and by analyzing these substances, trends and conditions in the environment can be monitored.

Analysis of fish from a certain region can be used to examine the presence of metals and organic substances in the water environment and to decide to what extent the contaminants are accumulated in the fish.

Analysis of heavy metals in moss can indicate the concentration of metals from rainfall and air, this since the uptake of metals exclusively comes from such sources and not from the ground.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about biota analysis. If you require dissection or an analysis that is not listed on our webpage, you are more than welcome to discuss this with us.

Contact information

Client service Stockholm (organic analyses):
Phone: +46 (0)8 5277 5200


Client service Luleå (metal analyses):
Phone: +46 (0)920 28 99 00


Contact us