LGCs new reference material enhances UK drinking water standards

Posted: Friday 8th April 2011

LGC, the UKs designated National Measurement Institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurement has developed a new certified reference material (CRM) for the determination of metals in hard drinking water.

Produced under LGCs accreditation to ISO Guide 34 for the production of reference materials, this new CRM (Hard Drinking Water for Metals, ERM-CA011b) is a replacement for LGCs current CRM for hard drinking water (ERM-CA011a) and is certified for new elements including beryllium, cobalt, molybdenum, strontium and vanadium. The source material was a natural hard drinking water from Tamworth, Staffordshire, to which solutions of metals were added to achieve concentrations close to those described in the current EU and UK drinking water legislation (98/83/EC), which sets the quality standards for drinking water in terms of microbiological, chemical and organoleptic parameters to ensure water is wholesome and clean.

Using high accuracy isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS) measurements, LGC certified the reference material for lead and selenium. An inter-laboratory study enabled the certification of the material for other elements including aluminium, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, boron, cadmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, sodium, strontium, vanadium and zinc. The study involved 29 participant laboratories from eight different countries.

The determination of metals in drinking water is imperative for ensuring public health and safety. The development and use of certified reference materials that are close in matrix composition to test samples, supports the validation of water monitoring procedures, providing confidence in the quality of the results obtained.

This reference material ERM-CA011b is available from LGC Standards (www.lgcstandards.com), the division of LGC that provides products and services to improve measurement in the laboratory.

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