Negative chemical ionization mass spectrometry with a mixture of isobutane, methylene chloride, and oxygen as the reagent gas has been used to explore contamination of environmental substrates with xenobiotic chemicals. The substrates in question, fish tissue, human seminal plasma, and human adipose tissue, were cleaned up by one of the following three cleanup procedures: (1) continuous liquid-liquid extraction steam distillation; (2) gel-permeation chromatography; and (3) adsorption on activated carbon followed by elution with toluene. The third procedure was used only for the examination of planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons in environmental samples. Using these techniques, the authors have found evidence for contamination of fish samples with polychloronaphthalenes, polychlorostyrenes, polychlorobiphenyls, polychlorodibenzofurans, and polychlorodibenzodioxins among other chemicals. The polychlorodibenzodioxins appeared only in the spectra of extracts of fish obtained from the Tittabawassee River at Midland, Michigan. The polychlorodibenzofuran ions appeared in NCl mass spectra of fish that were significantly contaminated (above 2 ppm) with polychlorobiphenyls. Toxic substances occurring in human seminal plasma included pentachlorophenol, hexachlorobenzene, DDT metabolites, and polychlorobiphenyls. The authors have investigated toxic substances in human seminal plasma because of the apparent decrease in sperm density in U.S. males over the last 30 years.