Key words Trace elements
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract The sixth round of the International Measurement Evaluation Programme (IMEP) is presented. The programme offers reference values, established by primary methods of measurement, against which participating laboratories can evaluate their performance. The degree of comparability is thus established against the most objective references available at present. In IMEP-6, reference values for total concentrations of 14 trace elements in a synthetic and a natural water were established mainly by isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS). For the majority of the measurands, results traceable to the international system of units (SI) and having expanded uncertainties, U (k=2), of 2% could be established. Measurements results from 165 field laboratories in 29 countries are evaluated and presented as descriptive (regional, national and intercontinental) pictures of the participants' self-declared degree of experience, status of accreditation, performance (including target values for uncertainty set by authorities) and instrumental methods used. The participants' use of certified reference materials and calibrants has been documented, and some comments on this matter are raised. The results and characteristics for IMEP-6 are compared with those of IMEP-3 (1991–1993) and discussed in view of the forthcoming IMEP-9 (1998).
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