Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Primary, secondary and tertiary reference materials (RM) play an important role in quality controls of analytical measurements. Logistics of preparation and proper use of primary and secondary RMs are presented. Tertiary (i.e. in-house) control materials are useful as substitutes in the absence of recognized primary or secondary RMs. The lack of interdisciplinary interaction during development of RMs (e.g. in specific areas such as foods), has an important impact on limiting the usefulness of certain types of RMs. The abundance of RMs in some countries and regions appears to have little effect on the existing paucity in RMs in other regions, and the underlying causes are outlined. The ability of a laboratory to produce good quality in-house RMs traceable to recognized primary or secondary RMs is a direct measure of its quest for reliable analytical data. Therefore many laboratories should be encouraged to engage in secondary and tertiary RM activities designed to answer specific measurement problems. In this context, assistance (e.g. practical training opportunities) in identifying simple methods of analyses for their efficacy in determining specific analytes is a source of help that can be extended to countries experiencing limitations in laboratory instrumentation.
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