Traceability of environmental chemical analyses: can theory match practice?

Research paper by P P Quevauviller

Indexed on: 16 Jul '05Published on: 16 Jul '05Published in: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry


According to the ISO definition, the traceability concept basically implies that measurement data are linked to stated references through an unbroken chain of comparisons, all with stated uncertainties. This concept may be quite clear in theory, but we may wonder how it may be applicable to complex chemical measurements such as environmental chemical analyses in practice. This paper discusses this issue, giving some examples of drawbacks that are being faced in different environmental sectors (water, sediment, soil, biota and particulate atmospheric samples).