Data Review & Quality Control Analyses
Ensuring the accuracy and precision of every result we report to a client is our highest priority. Our data review process is exhaustive and includes, at minimum, a review by an analyst, quality assurance, and two project managers. In a typical analytical batch, we perform numerous quality control analyses at a frequency few other laboratories attempt to approach. We also frequently perform duplicate analyses of clients’ samples. Depending on the analysis and specific matrix we often perform as many additional analyses per batch as listed below:
Proficiency Testing & Intercomparison Studies
To demonstrate the consistent reliability of our analytical techniques, we submit biannual proficiency testing results of water and soil samples to Environmental Resource Associates for evaluation. We also routinely conduct and participate with laboratories around the world for intercomparison studies. These “intercomps” are the only reliable means for laboratories to evaluate their competency with cutting edge analyses such as methylmercury and arsenic speciation. For more information regarding Brooks Applied Labs’ intercomparison studies contact us now!
Just as Brooks Applied Labs strongly recognizes the importance of scientifically accurate and precise measurements that are legally defensible and useful for regulatory, litigation, or research purposes, we also appreciate that report packages and electronic data deliverables (EDD) should be easy to read, reference, understand, and evaluate while containing all necessary information. We offer over 20 EDDs at no additional charge to our clients.
Our company utilizes a customized environmental laboratory information management system (LIMS) that tracks each sample from the moment it is received, through preparation, analysis, and disposal. All of our analytical instrumentation is integrated with the system, providing us with powerful data evaluation capabilities and the capacity to rapidly produce highly accurate report packages and EDDs per our clients’ requirements.
We produce report packages according to three levels of increasing detail (see table) depending on the specific requirements of a project, in addition to compiling entirely custom reports when necessary. All of our reports are certified NELAP compliant and our Level IV report is considered to be “CLP-like” since it contains all of the necessary information for EPA CLP reporting. All levels of reporting include a cover letter or narrative that summarizes any relevant analytical issues that may have been encountered. Additionally, our Level IV report includes an exhaustive narrative describing the methods used and calculations performed, and detailing and analytical or instrumental issues associated with the reported data. We also routinely produce EDDs in accordance to the specifications required by many environmental consulting firms and state/federal regulatory agencies.
*Level IV report narratives are more detailed than Level II and Level III narratives.
Definition of Data Qualifiers
J – Detected by the instrument, the result is > the MDL but ≤ the MRL. Result is reported and considered an estimate.
E – An estimated value due to the presence of interferences. A full explanation is presented in the narrative.
H – Holding time and/or preservation requirements not met. Result is estimated.
J-1 – Estimated value. A full explanation is presented in the narrative.
J-M – Duplicate precision (RPD) for associated QC sample was not within acceptance criteria. Result is estimated.
J-N – Spike recovery for associated QC sample was not within acceptance criteria. Result is estimated.
M – Duplicate precision (RPD) was not within acceptance criteria. Result is estimated.
N – Spike recovery was not within acceptance criteria. Result is estimated.
R – Rejected, unusable value. A full explanation is presented in the narrative.
U – Result is ≤ the MDL or client requested reporting limit (CRRL). Result reported as the MDL or CRRL.
X – Result is not BLK-corrected and is within 10x the absolute value of the highest detectable BLK in the batch. Result is estimated.