The MSU VDL Toxicology Section offers screening of a wide variety of matrices for pesticides, human and veterinary drugs, industrial products, plant toxins and other natural products. Extracts are run by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), and the mass spectral fingerprints of isolated peaks are compared to libraries containing up to 500,000 compounds. A professional interpretation is provided along with a list of compounds of concern.

Common requests for the Organic Compound Screen involve exposures to organophosphates, carbamates, permethrins, euthanasia drugs, veterinary drugs, drugs of abuse, etc. Our Toxicology Laboratory has at its disposal two GC/MS instruments as well as an Electrospray-Liquid Chromatograph MS (LC/MS) that can be applied to various analytical situations, including special projects involving specific compounds. Urine, blood, and vomit are typically the preferred antemortem samples in cases involving poisonings, whereas stomach contents and liver are typically most useful samples postmortem. Analysis of feed, water and plants may also be useful depending on the situation.

Because of the large number of compounds in the GC/MS library, it is not practical for us to provide a comprehensive list of all chemicals we detect using this technology. Please list potential candidate toxicants so we can tell you if the GC/MS analysis is the right test for your application. If not, we will suggest a more suitable analytical procedure.

Please do not hesitate to contact the lab at 517.353.1683 if you have any questions about this or other tests.

Sample Submission

Acceptable specimens include liver, kidney, other tissues, blood, serum, plasma, stomach or rumen contents, brain, fat, feed, plants, milk, urine, hair, and water. Minimal sample amounts are:

  • Fat, 2 g
  • Milk, 20 mL
  • Serum/blood, 2 mL
  • Tissue/feed/stomach & rumen contents, 3 g
  • Urine, 10 mL
  • Water, 1 L

Package samples individually in leakproof containers and submit with ice packs. Clients can request the qualitative screen (test code 70006) but also have the option to request Quantification (test code 70055).

In addition, if clients require further confirmation of organic compound screen results, standards of compounds not in our current collection can be purchased and run alongside for an additional charge.

Provide a concise history with the Toxicology submission form, and list any compounds of concern.