Assuring the quality of data produced by analytical chemistry laboratories is important, not only because analytical chemists have a professional obligation to do so for those using their data, but also because of today's climate of regulations and high public concern over issues involving analytical laboratories. Assurance goes beyond the technical adequacy of methods used to make analyses and the control of the measurement process through calibration and statistical control. It concerns also overall control of operations through various administrative practices. The combination of technical and administrative practices constitutes a quality assurance program that will help assure the quality of data. Such a quality assurance program is described, which is based on nine elements of laboratory quality assurance derived from a nationally established standard on quality assurance. These nine elements are the basis for a new ASTM standard, Standard Guide for Establishing a Quality Assurance Program for Analytical Chemistry Laboratories within the Nuclear Industry (C 1009).
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