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Using Reference Materials to Improve the Quality of Data Generated by USEPA Analytical Methods



Stephen E. Long, Stephen A. Wilson, Stuart J. Nagourney


The quality assurance of analytical data generated for environmental materials is critical to State and Federal regulatory agencies to ensure that decisions based upon the amounts of contaminants in environmental samples are truly protective of public health. The data quality and validation of these measurements using the approved analytical methodology could be significantly enhanced by incorporating certified reference materials as part of the quality control protocols, yet this is has not been widely implemented. In many cases, data from certified reference materials provide critical information that can impact assessments regarding data use that is unavailable by other means. Some of the issues surrounding the use of certified reference materials for environmental applications are discussed in this paper, including the relative cost, and the availability and applicability regarding element coverage and content. Some examples for hexavalent chromium in soil are discussed as a case study.
Environmental Science and Technology


reference materials, hexavalent chromium, soil, EPA, SW 846 analytical methods, quality assurance


Long, S. , Wilson, S. and Nagourney, S. (2016), Using Reference Materials to Improve the Quality of Data Generated by USEPA Analytical Methods, Environmental Science and Technology, [online], (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created November 28, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018