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On-Demand MDLs for the Environmental Laboratory

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The traditional approach to the determination of detection limits (MDL) represents a challenge: MDLs do not reflect day-to-day analytical variation, they are an inadequate metric for monitoring on-going performance, and they require a non-routine commitment of analytical resources. The EBMUD Laboratory has adopted a QC procedure requiring the analysis of a False Negative Quality Sample (FNQS) included with every analytical batch. Recovery of the FNQS is used to monitor batch accuracy in the range near detection. A web-based MDL calculator, designed by EBMUD staff, is used to generate EPA compliant detection limits using the FNQS database. Experience at our laboratory has demonstrated that this approach reduces resource requirements for maintaining up-to-date detection limits; provides data end-users with a measure of accuracy in the region of detection; and provides a more reliable set of detection limits. This presentation will cover the concepts, details of the calculation tool, and some potential pitfalls.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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