Improving Sample Preparation in Environmental Labs
Apr 12 2017 Comments 0
Environmental testing plays an important role in maintaining public health. The ability to detect and characterise substances in air, water, and soil samples is the first step in ensuring that potential risks from these substances are kept below regulated limits. Environmental analysis labs perform a critical function in supporting decision makers who determine what, if any, remediation work is required to clean up sources of contamination. The balance between costly remediation and risk to human health puts tremendous pressure on these labs to deliver accurate, reliable results. High-quality results depend on several factors. Samples must be collected and handled with care, prepared for analysis in a way that does not compromise their integrity, and analysed with trustworthy instrumentation. Additionally, the results must be recorded and reported with vigilance.
Although filtration is a seemingly small part of a large workflow, the impact of choosing the right filter for a given application can be substantial. The confidence that filtration consumables are not contributing to errors that require rework saves money and provides peace of mind.
Environmental analysis laboratories are characterised by a high testing volume and the pressure to punctually deliver reliable results in line with regulatory standards. Therefore, the highest quality labs perform best when they have streamlined processes supported by reliable products. Spurious results stemming from use of a sub-optimal device or consumable lead to repeated work and costly root cause investigations. For a given type of test there is no single, ideal filtration solution for all circumstances. Instead, the filter chosen depends on several factors, such as local regulatory standards, sample solvent, or analyte measured. The filter is one part of an environmental testing workflow, but its quality and reliability has a big impact on the final analysis result.
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