Reference Products for Environment and Trade

The results of analytical measurements play a vital role in our daily lives. Analytical data may be the basis upon which economic, legal or environmental management decisions are made, and they are essential in international trade, environmental protection, safe transportation, law enforcement, consumer safety and the preservation of human health.


The world's larges supplier of matrix reference materials, the IAEA provides more than 90 different reference materials (RMs) to laboratories world-wide to assist them in the quality of the results they obtain by nuclear analytical techniques.

For all queries regarding reference materials, please go to Reference Material Contact Point. The IAEA established its analytical quality control services in the early 1960s to support Member State laboratories using nuclear analytical techniques. Initial activities focussed on the preparation of environmental Reference Materials (RMs) containing anthropogenic radionuclides.

These RMs were characterized for their radionuclide content through laboratory intercomparisons (IC) involving a core group of some 10 to 20 specialist laboratories. The success of these early exercises led the Agency to extend its activities to encompass both terrestrial and marine RMs containing primordial radionuclides, stable isotopes and trace elements.

Today, the Agency distributes more than 90 reference materials and maintains a customer base of about 3000 members. Laboratory Reference Product activities are coordinated by two IAEA laboratories:

  • Physics, Chemistry and Instrumentation Laboratory, Seibersdorf, Austria
  • Marine Environment Laboratory, Monaco
  • Major Reference Product activities today
  • Laboratory intercomparisons and proficiency tests
  • Production and distribution of reference materials (RMs)
  • Development and publication of analytical methods
  • Support and coordination of laboratory networks
  • Training in analytical procedures and laboratory quality management

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Resource Characteristics


Last Resource Update : 2012


Subject
Chemistry and Materials| Earth Sciences

Organizational Source
Nuclear Sciences and Applications | NAEL - Environmental Laboratories

Data Type
Reference Material

Keywords
Reference Materials, environment and trade materials, measurement of radionuclides, intercomparison studies, trace elements, stable isotopes and organic micro-constituents, proficiency tests, organometallic compounds, quality control, RMs