This Special Issue will focus on the latest advances in non-targeted high-resolution mass spectrometry for the analysis of all compartments of the environment, including the built environment. Submit your manuscript by November 28, 2024.

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Complex mixtures of in use commercial and industrial chemicals are resulting in exposures across biota, including in humans and wildlife, to a cocktail of environmental contaminants which have the potential to elicit cumulative effects which could threaten the health of biological systems. Biotic and abiotic transformations of contaminants to more persistent or toxic transformation products and metabolites further complicate human and wildlife exposure scenarios. In a given environmental or biological sample, there are targeted and known chemical contaminant mixtures, but much of the chemical diversity is unknown.

To unravel the full complexity of chemical mixtures including degradation products and precursors, the investigation and identification of environmental contamination increasingly requires tools capable of non-targeted analysis (NTA). Advances in analytical tools and approaches for NTA are in demand to complement traditional targeted analysis and to capture this broader picture of environmental contamination and of the cumulative chemical risks to humans and wildlife.

This joint Special Issue from Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) and Environmental Science & Technology Letters (ES&T Letters) is seeking new developments and applications of cutting-edge techniques and data science tools in non-targeted high-resolution mass spectrometry to enable NTA of environmental media, wildlife exposomes, and of the built environment to support human exposome studies. Approaches and applications can range from comprehensive molecular characterization (e.g. formula or structure prediction), to suspect screening of prioritized contaminants, to data acquisition strategies that support unbiased screening and discovery of novel contaminants. Papers that apply or develop open-science tools and resources are particularly encouraged.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Advancement of mass spectrometric methods including new sample preparation methods and data processing and prioritization strategies for non-targeted analysis
  • Suspect and non-targeted screening of chemical contaminants across diverse environmental media
  • Non-targeted analysis of the built environment to support human exposome and health studies
  • Identification and characterization of unknown chemicals with non-targeted analysis
  • Advancement of open-science tools and resources for non-targeted analysis

We ask that all submissions with an application of non-targeted analysis include the NTA Study Reporting Tool as supporting information.

Organizing Editors

Professor Da Chen, Guest Editor
Jinan University, China

Professor Adrian Covaci, Guest Editor
University of Antwerp, Belgium

Professor Robert Letcher, Guest Editor
Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canada

Dr. Seth R. Newton, Guest Editor
US EPA Office of Research and Development, USA

Professor Jon Martin, Associate Editor, ES&T Letters
Stockholm University, Sweden

Professor Juliane Hollender, Associate Editor, ES&T
EAWAG, Switzerland

Submission Information

We welcome submissions for this Special Issue through November 28, 2024. For more information on submission requirements, please visit the Author Guidelines page for ES&T and ES&T Letters.

All manuscript types for ES&T and ES&T Letters are welcome for consideration in this Special Issue. Papers accepted for publication will be made available online ASAP (as soon as publishable) shortly after acceptance. After all submissions have been published, they will then be compiled online on a dedicated landing page to form the Special Issue. Manuscripts submitted for consideration will undergo the full rigorous peer review process expected from ACS journals.

How to Submit

  • Log in to the ACS Paragon Plus submission site.
  • Choose either ES&T or ES&T Letters as the journal for submission.
  • Select your manuscript type, and under the "Special Issue Selection" menu, choose “Non-Targeted Analysis of the Environment.”

If you have any general questions regarding submission to this Special Issue, please contact the managing editor (

Open Access

There are diverse open access options for publications in American Chemical Society journals. Please visit our Open Science Resource Center for more information.

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