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Title: Mercury analysis in hair: Comparability and quality assessment within the transnational COPHES/DEMOCOPHES project
Authors: Esteban, Marta
Schindler, Birgit K
Jiménez-Guerrero, José A
Koch, Holger M
Angerer, Jürgen
Rivas, Teresa C
Rosado, Montserrat
Gómez, Silvia
Casteleyn, Ludwine
Kolossa-Gehring, Marike
Becker, Kerstin
Bloemen, Louis
Schoeters, Greet
Hond, Elly Den
Sepai, Ovnair
Exley, Karen
Horvat, Milena
Knudsen, Lisbeth E
Joas, Anke
Joas, Reinhard
Aerts, Dominique
Biot, Pierre
Borošová, Daniela
Davidson, Fred
Dumitrascu, Irina
Fisher, Marc E
Grander, Margaretha
Janasik, Beata
Jones, Kate
Kašparová, Lucie
Larssen, Thorjørn
Naray, Miklos
Nielsen, Flemming
Hohenblum, Philipp
Pinto, Rui
Pirard, Catherine
Plateel, Gregory
Tratnik, Janja
Wittsiepe, Jürgen
Castaño, Argelia ×
Equas Reference Laboratories #
Issue Date: Aug-2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Series Title: Environmental Research vol:141 pages:24-30
Article number: S0013-9351(14)00429-0
Abstract: Human biomonitoring (HBM) is an effective tool for assessing actual exposure to chemicals that takes into account all routes of intake. Although hair analysis is considered to be an optimal biomarker for assessing mercury exposure, the lack of harmonization as regards sampling and analytical procedures has often limited the comparison of data at national and international level. The European-funded projects COPHES and DEMOCOPHES developed and tested a harmonized European approach to Human Biomonitoring in response to the European Environment and Health Action Plan. Herein we describe the quality assurance program (QAP) for assessing mercury levels in hair samples from more than 1800 mother-child pairs recruited in 17 European countries. To ensure the comparability of the results, standard operating procedures (SOPs) for sampling and for mercury analysis were drafted and distributed to participating laboratories. Training sessions were organized for field workers and four external quality-assessment exercises (ICI/EQUAS), followed by the corresponding web conferences, were organized between March 2011 and February 2012. ICI/EQUAS used native hair samples at two mercury concentration ranges (0.20-0.71 and 0.80-1.63) per exercise. The results revealed relative standard deviations of 7.87-13.55% and 4.04-11.31% for the low and high mercury concentration ranges, respectively. A total of 16 out of 18 participating laboratories the QAP requirements and were allowed to analyze samples from the DEMOCOPHES pilot study. Web conferences after each ICI/EQUAS revealed this to be a new and effective tool for improving analytical performance and increasing capacity building. The procedure developed and tested in COPHES/DEMOCOPHES would be optimal for application on a global scale as regards implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
ISSN: 0013-9351
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Clinical Genetics
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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