Volume 3, Issue 6 (June 2006)
An Evaluation of Aerosol- and Liquid-Generated Silica Samples for Proficiency Analytical Testing
SRI International has prepared dynamically generated silica samples since 1980 for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Proficiency Analytical Testing (PAT) programs. Aerosol-generated samples were developed in 1980 to more closely approximate real world samples and to improve intrabatch precision. Liquid-generated samples may provide tighter control limits, and this method has been reexamined as the generation procedure of choice. Sample preparation procedures have also been investigated to minimize analytical uncertainty and, hence, obtain a true evaluation of the sampling error. Samples were analyzed by SRI, NIOSH, and the Wisconsin Occupational Health Laboratory, using X-ray diffraction or Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR). Results were plotted and statistically evaluated, then compared to the existing PAT interlaboratory database.