Key words Analytical quality control
Organic surface soil
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract In order to ensure quality assurance in large-scale environmental contamination studies involving many different analytical laboratories, the use of calibrated reference materials is essential. Prior to a survey of atmospheric metal deposition in 1995 comprising 20 countries and covering large parts of Europe, the lack of suitable reference materials of moss and organic-rich soil was apparent. In order to improve the quality of analytical data to be produced in this international survey, candidate analytical laboratories were invited to participate in an intercomparison exercise. Three moss and three soil humus reference samples specifically prepared for this purpose were distributed anonymously among the laboratories, which were asked to report data for ten priority elements (V, Cr, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Hg, Pb) and as many additional elements as they determined normally. In this paper the analytical data from the intercomparison are evaluated, and recommended values for the ten priority elements and 17 additional elements (B, Na, Mg, Al, S, K, Ca, Mn, Co, Se, Rb, Sr, Sb, Cs, Ba, La, Th) in each of the six reference samples are established. These samples should be useful for similar future studies including areas where the contamination levels are very low.
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