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Spring 2019 Newsletter

2019 Annual Meeting a Success

AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs (AIHA LAP) held another successful annual meeting in Falls Church, Virginia, on March 5-8, 2019, for its site assessors, volunteers and staff. Seven site assessor candidates and one new staff member took part in the assessor training course conducted by Ron Peters before the start of the meeting. Also, new AIHA LAP volunteers (announced in the last LAP e-News) participated in an orientation meeting and joined their counterparts in the joint session and their first Analytical Accreditation Board and Technical Advisory Panel meetings. The focus of this year’s meeting continued to be the revised standard we use to accredit labs — ISO/IEC 17025:2017. Site assessors, who had their own meeting on March 5-6, got a chance to discuss the best approaches to conducting assessments to the new risk-based thinking requirements and discussed these requirements with their AAB and TAP colleagues. At the March 7 dinner reception, retired site assessor Roy J. Covert was honored for his 40 years of service. Site assessor Kathy S. Jones received the Evan Campbell Award for outstanding work, and TAP member Alan L. Goldstein received the Newton Whitman Award for the scope and number of TAP reviews he has conducted. AAB member Daren Pearce was the recipient of this year’s Harriotte A. Hurley Award for his outstanding work.



New Volunteers Needed

AIHA LAP is seeking qualified volunteers to fill positions on the AAB and the TAP, serving terms that will begin in March 2020. The AAB is responsible for approving laboratories for accreditation and reaccreditation once site assessments are conducted. AAB members are also responsible for approving and drafting accreditation policies. TAP members advise the staff and AAB on technical laboratory matters and review accreditation packages for all major programs. All applications for the AAB and TAP must be submitted by July 30, 2019. For further details, or to download the AAB/TAP application, click here​

RTI Materials Considered Equivalent for NIST 1866b and 1867

AIHA LAP Accreditation Policy 2B.3.2.7 states a laboratory shall have “standards – NIST 1866 and 1867 (six regulated asbestos types and fibrous glass) or equivalent.” We have been made aware tha​t NIST will not be reissuing SRM 1867a or 1876b, and that 1866b has been discontinued as well. The primary purpose of the NIST 1866 and 1867 SRMs as defined by AIHA LAP was to provide the labs with pure material samples of each of the six types of asbestos, with their crystalline and morphological properties defined. However, we have been informed there is known contamination of the chrysotile standard by trace amounts of tremolite, and there continues to be controversy about the “asbestiform” nature of the other standard. Although not confirmed, these may be reasons for the discontinuance of these SRMs. 

AIHA LAP considers the Asbestos Calibration Standard bulk samples offered by RTI International as “equivalent” given that these SRMs are no longer offered by NIST. While RTI is not an accredited reference material producer (as suggested by the Guidance on Traceability of Measurement, Section 5.6), they are an accredited Proficiency Testing Provider and sample vendor to the AIHA Proficiency Analytical Testing Programs (AIHA PAT Programs​). They offer a set of 22 Asbestos Calibration Standards (bulk samples) and provide an information sheet with their samples that includes materials containing all six forms of asbestos (amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, anthophyllite, actinolite and tremolite). Additional information will be posted on the RTI website​ in the next 30 days. AIHA LAP will also follow up with an email to its accredited labs including a link to the order form for the samples.  

You Will Hear From Us About the Following:

  • LAP Online Data Management System: Now that our volunteers and site assessors have previewed the new system, we are preparing to conduct more in-depth webinars for them and, immediately afterward, conduct webinars for all AIHA LAP accredited labs. These webinars will allow you to walk through the application process and help you become more comfortable with the system. You can expect to receive an invitation from us for the lab webinars this summer. 
  • AIHA LAP Survey: All AIHA LAP accredited labs will be receiving a link to an online survey with questions about how LAP communicates (e.g., blast emails, e-news and social media) and how we educate (webinars, annual meeting), as well as the value of information you receive. The survey will also include questions on accreditation policies/procedures, LAP business practices, and customer service and allow labs to suggest ways we can improve the delivery of service. Finally, the survey will include some technical questions regarding analytical methods and instrumentation that will help LAP better serve its customers. Labs can expect to receive the survey in mid-July. 
  • 2019 Policy Changes: Having received policy change requests, the Policy Task Force has deliberated on a number of policy changes, and they will be considered by the AAB at the May 18 meeting. In June, we expect to post all AAB-approved policy changes to the LAP website for stakeholder review and comment. The policies will mostly be finalized by August 2019 with an effective date of October 2019. ​
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Upcoming Events 


World Metrology Day and the Adoption of New SI Units

May 20, marks World Metrology Day — a day that recognizes and celebrates the contribution of all people who work in metrology in organizations throughout the year. This year’s theme, The International System of Units — Fundamentally Better, was chosen because the General Conference on Weights and Measures agreed to adopt significant revisions to the International System of Units (the SI) on November 16, 2018. Four of the seven base units for the SI have been redefined and will be able to embrace further improvements in measurement science and technology to meet the needs of future users. For more information, visit the website World Metrology Day.
 




World Accreditation Day

June 9 marks World Accreditation Day 2019. Established by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation and the International Accreditation Forum, World Accreditation Day is celebrated each year to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation activities. This year, the focus of World Accreditation Day will be on “adding value to supply chains.” To watch this year’s video and learn more, go to ILAC's website. We encourage all AIHA LAP accredited labs to post the official poster on their websites.



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AIHA LAP Special Session at AIHce 2019

Planning to attend AIHce 2019 in Minneapolis? Please join us for another AIHA LAP special session on Wednesday, May 22, at the Convention Center. This year’s session is: The Importance of Conformity Assessment and Opportunities and Challenges for Testing to Help the IH Profession and will feature two parts: 
Several AIHA LAP accredited labs will be exhibiting at AIHce again this year. Please stop by the AIHA LAP booth (No. 1126) to pick up a list of labs at the Expo and their booth locations as well as information about AIHA LAP. 
For more information for AIHA LAP at AIHce, please contact Cheryl Morton at cmorton@aiha.org or 703-846-0789.


Newly Accredited Labs


Congratulations to the following labs newly accredited between March 1 and May 1. 

Lab Name Lab ID Program
Southeast Environmental Microbiology Laboratories 232339 EMLAP
Salt River Project 232276 ELLAP
J3 Resources Inc 232338 IHLAP, EMLAP
Safety Environmental Laboratories and Consulting Inc. 232279 EMLAP

To review AIHA LAP’s full list of newly accredited and reaccredited labs each month, click here​​​​​
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Updated: 5/7/2019 1:47 PM