Environmental monitoring networks and sampling programmes

They serve as a vital source of data for long-term monitoring of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), in addition to other pollutants of interest, in various environmental compartments. Due to their global geographic distribution, utilization in a wide range of environmental compartments, and long-term use, they provide a comprehensive tool for researchers and policymakers.

Our most important networks include the integrated NAO (National Atmospheric Observatory) in Košetice, MONET (MOnitoring NETwork) and AQUA-GAPS (Global Aquatic Passive Sampling).

Integrated Monitoring at the National Atmospheric Observatory (NAO)

The Košetice Observatory was established in 1988 and is operated by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI), with the primary objective of measuring and evaluating long-term trends in background environmental pollution in the Czech Republic and Europe. The station serves as part of the Central and Eastern European arm of the Stockholm Convention‘s Global Monitoring Plan (GMP) for persistant organic pollutants (POPs).

It is part of the European Monitoring and Evaluation Program (EMEP) under the umbrella of CLRTAP (Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution). and other programs such as ICP-IM (International Cooperative Program on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems), ICOS-RI (Integrated Carbon Observation System Research Infrastructure), GAW (Global Atmosphere Watch), GAPS (Global Atmosphere Passive Sampling Network) and MONET. It forms the national node of the European Research Infrastructure for the observationof Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases (ACTRIS-CZ) together with Recetox, the Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the Czech Academy of Science, and the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Science.

RECETOX has been involved for over 30 years in the measurement of POPs concentrations in the air, atmospheric deposition, water, sediments, soil and biota. Historically, monitoring was mainly focused on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),Organochlorine Pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), But at the moment, with the development of new measuring techniques and the needs of global monitoring, the concentration of dioxins (PCDDs/Fs), Brominated flame retardants (PBDEs), currently used pesticides (CUPs) and other substances are also monitored.

The acquired data is unique in scope and is used to model long-term trends, development of atmospheric models, they are part of international databases, they are reported in the framework of fulfilling the obligations of the Czech Republic resulting from international agreements and can also be utilized for Prediction of potential risks. The infrastructure of the station also provides exceptional facilities for research, development and calibration of new measuring equipment and techniques, as well as for teaching and student activities within the Bachelor, master and doctoral theses of the study programmes of Environment and Health and Mathematical Biology and Biomedicine.

MONET (Monitoring NETwork)

MONET was established in 2003 in the Czech Republic through a successful collaborative pilot study with the University of Lancaster (UK), and Health Canada. What originally began as a Czech regional project, aimed at monitoring ambient air for persistant organic pollutants (POPs), gradually expanded, and currently comprises more than 450 sampling stations in 44 countries, on three continents – Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Description of MONET sampling methods, which include passive air sampling, active air sampling, passive water and soil sampling techniques can be found here. All persistent organic pollutants data generated by MONET can be found on the Genasis database.

AQUA-GAPS (Global Aquatic Passive Sampling)

AQUA-GAPS was set up in 2017 as a global decentralized monitoring network to determine the presence of toxic chemicals in aquatic environments and gain insight on their geographic distribution as well as temporal trends. The network supports the Stockholm Convention’s Global Monitoring Plan (GMP) by generating harmonized data on POPs/PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid). It is “network of networks,” open to participants from around the globe. With the help of local partners, passive polyethylene-based samplers are now deployed in more than 30 sites worldwide.


The environmental sampling networks and sampling programs utilize the following equipment and techniques, which are available for partner organizations and to the general public as part of projects, contract research, training programs and training.


Air sampling

  • Polyurethane foam (PUF) disc passive air sampler
  • XAD-resin based passive air sampler
  • Personal air sampler – Baghirra
  • Low-volume active sampler – Baghirra
  • Photovoltaic active sampler – Baghirra
  • Medium-volume active sampler – Leckel
  • High-volume active sampler - Digitel, Graseby-Anderson, Baghirra
  • Cascade impactor - Sioutas, Tisch Environmental, Moudi
  • Multi-directional active sampler - Baghirra
  • Sequential active sampler – Baghirra
  • Automatic optical dust analyzator Palas

Atmospheric deposition

  • Active sampler - Baghirra
  • Sampler for collection of dry and wet deposition
  • Throughfall depositon sampler


  • Passive sampler of non-polar substances
  • Passive sampler of polar substances
  • Conventional sampling method (spot/bottle/grab sampler)
  • Sampler for direct collection of liquids into sample container
  • Sampler for the collection of liquids in pre-evacuated samples
  • Zonal sampler
  • Active sampler


  • Sampler for collection of intact sediment profile – core, piston
  • Grab sediment sampler
  • Silt sampler


  • Manual drills for collection of different soils

Indoor environment

  • Dust collection sampler
  • Indoor air sampler
  • Automatické optické prachové analyzátory Grimm

Other equipment

  • Mobile weather station
  • Multiparameter water quality meter
  • Rubber motorboat


RECETOX has extensive knowledge in the design and execution of complex scientific projects which require expertise in collection and preparation of samples originating from various environmental matrices. We collaborate with the public and commercial sectors, as well as conduct our own research and development of new measuring instruments and techniques.

Our know-how in sampling and sample preparation is shared as part of our study program at Masaryk University, in trainings within the international Summer School, at national and international conferences and workshops, during open days, as well as during primary and secondary school excursions.

Furthermore, we offer tailor-made individual or group in-house training programs at our laboratories in RECETOX. Trainings can also take place at the customer's laboratories or in the field and include preparation of customized standard operating procedures (SOPs).


Our employees can provide you with detailed information, and offer extensive advice on the preparation of a sampling plan, selection of appropriate sampling equipment, implementation of a sampling campaign or case studies, preservation and transport of samples, processing of samples for analysis, interpretation of results, design of appropriate measures, development of new sampling techniques, legislation and safety.


Access to the laboratories is open to academic users, researchers and other users, including representatives of the commercial sphere and industry. Users from academia and research can access the labs through the Open access project. Industry/commercial users should contact RNDr. Petra Růžičková, Ph.D., who will answer questions about available capacities, expertise and other conditions of cooperation.

For more information, please use the contacts below.


RNDr. Petra Přibylová, Ph.D.

Head of Trace analytical laboratories

Phone: +420 549 49 3013
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RNDr. Petra Přibylová, Ph.D.

Vedoucí Laboratoře stopových analýz

Phone: +420 549 49 3013


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