Trace Organics

RPS provides trace and ultra-trace analysis of a vast range of chemicals and contaminants in food, plants, soil, sediment, water, biological fluids and a variety of other matrices. This is achieved using state of the art instrumentation such as LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS. RPS can offer ultra-low limits of detection to suit even the most difficult requirements.

RPS boasts a wealth of industry experience and expertise, together with a commitment to providing the highest levels of customer service. We work closely with clients to provide analytical solutions specifically tailored to individual requirements both technically and within desired timeframes. Our clients include SMEs, large multinational and government agencies.

Our laboratory complies with the ISO 17025 standard and holds UKAS and MCERTs accreditation, as well as participating in several external laboratory proficiency schemes including QUASIMEME, AQS, Aquacheck, LEAP, CONTEST, RTC and FAPAS.

Full details of all our accredited tests can be found by clicking on this link.



Key Contacts

Marco Lattughi

Marco Lattughi   |   Operational Director   |   Send Email

Marco has over 25 years of experience of analytical chemistry. Key expertise includes, the Chemicals Investigation Programme, Water Framework Directive, priority pollutants, explosives, chemical agents trace analysis, oil and gas exploration, marine pollutants, pesticide residues, nitrosamines and oil fingerprinting. Marco has been responsible for a number of high profile and complex projects requiring a high level of operational and service delivery.

Malk Sahota

Malk Sahota   |   Business Development Manager   |   Send Email

Malk has over 27 years of experience. Key expertise includes: drugs of abuse analysis in animals and human sports, laboratory product sales, solid phase extraction distribution and sales, chemical and reagents sales, mass spectrometry instrument sales. He also holds expertise in marketing, sales management and business development.

Matthew Hickson

Matthew Hickson   |   Laboratory Manager   |   Send Email

Matthew has over 17 years of forensic analysis experience. Key expertise includes: drugs of abuse, mass spectrometry, identification and analysis bulk and trace illicit drugs, chemical profiling of drugs, comparison of drug packaging materials, analysis of banknotes, expert witness, casework management, laboratory management and team management.

Sub Services

Marine Sediments

With the ongoing investment in the exploration of natural resources and the harnessing of energy from wind and tidal power, there is an increasing focus on the environmental impacts this can have on the marine habitat. In order to ensure environmental compliance and licensing requirements RPS can offer the analysis of sediments to meet the Marine Monitoring Organisation’s (MMO) requirements as proposed by CEFAS in England and Wales.

RPS is also able to meet the analytical requirements of the Marine Scotland Act, and the equivalent Environment Agency of both Northern and Southern Ireland. Our staff have vast experience of working within the marine industry in both government and commercial laboratories and can guarantee the use of the most appropriate methods and techniques to achieve high quality results in realistic timescales.

Our analytical services for the marine industry include:

Total sediment hydrofluoric acid digests followed by ICP-MS and CVAFS analysis to meet the requirements for the characterisation of dredge material for disposal at sea (CEFAS/ Marine Scotland Guidance)

Organotin compounds in sediments by GC-QQQ

Loss on ignition , dry matter, solids, carbonate content and total organic carbon

Sediment density

Total Hydrocarbon content by GC-FID (TPH and speciated aliphatics)

Oil and Grease (Gravimetric)

Oil in Water (GC-FID or FTIR)

BTEX, VOCs, petrol range organics by Headspace GC-MS

PAHs EPA16 and alkylated 2-6 ring PAH by GC-MS

PCBs including EN25, WHO12, IC7 and CEFAS 25 congeners by GC-MS


Alkylphenols, alkylphenol ethoxylates by GC-MS and LC-QQQ

Particle size analysis via wet and dry Sieving (BS1377 & NMBAQC methods) and laser diffraction

Bespoke analysis of compounds and the identification of unknowns.

Our laboratories take part in a number of performance testing schemes such as Quasimeme, Leap, FAPAS, Contest, Aquacheck and RTC.

Crop Residue / Pesticides

We provide rapid turnaround of targeted pesticide residues for companies seeking product registration. Our laboratories are equipped with a variety of gas and liquid chromatography instruments coupled to the latest triple quadrupole and accurate mass detectors. We can provide trace and ultra-trace detection in a wide variety of crops including the analysis of glyphosate and AMPA in grains, cereals, pulses, legumes and products thereof.

Full validation in each crop matrix is supplied with all analysis as reports. Samples are stored in our large walk-in freezers and the preparation areas are equipped with the latest cryogenic homogenisation equipment to ensure complete sample integrity is maintained throughout the sample processing stage.

We hold a Plant Health Licence to import material from outside the European Union and can handle all the logistical requirements to allow a trouble free experience for the customer.

Explosives & Chemical Weapons

RPS provides support services to the decommissioning and remediation of explosively contaminated land and buildings and the ongoing quality control of energetic materials. The laboratory facilities are UKAS/MCERTs accredited and are licensed for the analysis of explosives and chemical agent/weapon residues.

Analysis includes:











Picric Acid


Ethyl centralite

Methyl centralite




Dinitro and trinitrobenzenes





2,4 & 2,6-Dinitroethylbenzene


Mustard gas H,Q & T

Lewisite I, II & III




Chemical agent and chemical agent chemical screening


RPS provides a wide range of support services to the oil & gas industry including oil prospecting, decommissioning, pre and post environmental surveys and oil spill identification. Some of the services and techniques used for this work are listed below:

Total scanning fluorescence

Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionisation Detection (GC-FID)

GC-MS and GC-MS/MS of oil biomarkers

Oil Fingerprinting

Rock Eval Pyrolysis

Isotope Ratio GCMS

Light gasses C1-C5

VOCs C6+

Metals by ICP-MS

BiostratigraphyReport production

Total Organic Carbon/Total Carbon content

Chemicals Investigation Programme (CIP)

RPS has been working on the Chemicals Investigation Programme (CIP) since 2010 on behalf of a number of utility companies, including United Utilities, Thames Water, Southern Water and Welsh Water. The CIP is driven by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and instigated by UKWIR on behalf of the environment agency, DEFRA and the utility companies. The regulatory outputs generated are scrutinised by UKWIR and the environment agency and form part of ongoing research into the fate and abatement technologies of these chemicals in the water environment. RPS participates in UKWIR and WFD performance testing and is accredited for the analysis of priority pollutants such as HBCDD, PFOS, PFOA and Cypermethrin down to these demanding limits of quantitation.

We have undertaken the sampling and analysis of river water, trade effluent, sewage and sewage sludge and sediments, in order to assess the level of priority and emerging substances present within the wastewater network and their river catchments.

Food / Feed / Grains

The laboratory performs analysis of foods, drinks and animal feed and bedding materials, which includes:

Anions and cations in beers

Methanol content in vodka

Quinine content in tonic water

PCB’s in animal bedding

Aflatoxins in animal bedding, cereals and nuts

Solvents in baby milk

Bisphenol A in baby foods

Glyphosate and AMPA in potatoes, cereals, grains, pulses, bread, plants

Pesticides in fruits and fruit drinks

Pesticides in crops

ETU and PTU in food

Benzalkonium chloride in baby food

Quaternary ammonium compound in food


Acrylamide in bread and baked products

PAHs, PCBs, PBDEs and HBCDD in fish