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Should I specify a test method, when I submit my samples to the lab?

by Stepan Reut

When you send your samples for analysis, you should specify the method if it is important to you or your client. For example, when you know that one method is way more selective than another, then you should tell the lab what method you want to use. If it does not matter to you, then leave it to the lab.

Good examples where you should specify the method are:

  • Fiber count by NIOSH 7400 (the most commonly used because it is part of the law, but it is the least selective);
  • Fiber count by OSHA 160 (good method, but never used);
  • Fiber count by NIOSH 7402 (is the best in terms of sensitivity, but it is 20 fold bore expensive than other methods)

It is important to maintain business relations with the same lab and the same project manager. Eventually, you will learn what to expect from the lab and they will know what you need. If you want to try a new method, talk to the lab first, before you collect the sample, and explain what you need.

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It is my personal technical blog about laboratory business. 

All content is based on my first-hand experience of being a business entrepreneur, laboratory owner, laboratory manager, QC manager, laboratory auditor, site assessor for AIHA-LAP, and a bench chemist. 
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London, Ontario, Canada
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