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Internal Quality Assurance Requirements for the Analysis of Dioxins in Environmental Samples


The accuracy and comparability of data produced in different laboratories have always been of concern to laboratory analysts, researchers, and environmental program managers in both government and industry. A Dioxin Quality Assurance Advisory Committee (DQAAC) was established in 1990 to address this issue. This committee is comprised of scientists and scientific program managers from Environment Canada and other government departments who have current and direct experience in the areas of quality assurance in analytical laboratories and methodologies for analyzing polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). One of the main goals of this committee was to develop a common generic quality assurance protocol for dioxin analysis in support of federal programs.

This report outlines those elements of a laboratory quality assurance program that are considered essential to ensure the reliability of dioxin data. Performance criteria by which data quality can be assessed are also established in this report. By focusing on principles and performance rather than procedural details, laboratories have the flexibility to follow specific sample processing procedures of their own choosing, and the need to develop reference methods for individual environmental matrices is simplified or eliminated.

Note: Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement by Environment Canada.

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