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Collaborative study to improve the quality control of rare earth element determinations in environmental matrices

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Author: Kramer, K.J.M. · Dorten, W.S. · Groenewoud, H. van het · Haan, E. de · Kramer, G.N. · Monteiro, L. · Muntau, H. · Quevauviller, P.
Institution: TNO Milieu, Energie en Procesinnovatie
Source:Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 1, 1, 83-89
Identifier: 235256
Keywords: Environment · Chemistry, Analytical · Environmental Monitoring · Europe · International Cooperation · Quality Control · Reference Values · Trace Elements


In order to control the quality of rare earth determinations in environmental matrices, the Standards, Measurements and Testing Programme (formerly Community Bureau of Reference, BCR) of the European Commission has started a project, the final aim of which is to certify four types of matrices (tuna muscle, mussel tissue, aquatic plant and estuarine sediment) for their contents of a range of rare earth elements (Sc, Y and the lanthanides: La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu). The elements U and Th were added to the study. The first part of this project consisted of an interlaboratory study which aimed to test the feasibility of preparation of environmental reference materials and to detect and remove most of the pitfalls observed in rare earth determinations. This paper presents the preparation of the four matrices for the intercomparison study and for the candidate reference material. The main results are presented of the interlaboratory study that was carried out prior to the certification campaign. This collaborative trial is the first attempt ever carried out at this scale to evaluate the state-of-the-art of rare earth determinations in the environment. Its impact on the improvement of chemical measurements will have positive effects on the comparibility of data necessary for environmental monitoring.