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Winter 2018 Newsletter

​​NEWS

ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Published 

On November 30, 2017, ISO’s Conformity Assessment Standards Committee (CASCO) published the long-awaited ISO/IEC 17025:2017, General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories, which is a revision of the 2005 Standard that is the basis of AIHA-LAP Policies. Generally, most technical requirements in the Standard have remained the same, but the Standard has been re-structured and includes: 

  • More process-oriented language to make it more consistent with ISO 9001 and other ISO/IEC 17000 series of standards;
  • Concepts new to testing laboratories like risk and impartiality; 
  • Sampling as an accreditation activity if associated with subsequent calibration and testing; 
  • Expanded complaints requirements, and,  
  • Language to reflect the use of computer systems and the production of electronic results and reports.

In addition, the 2017 version of ISO/IEC 17025 gives laboratories two options (Options A and B) for fulfilling the Standard’s management systems requirements. Under Option A, the laboratory must comply with the list management systems requirements in the revised Standard, which are not very different from the 2005 version. Option B allows those laboratories operating under an ISO 9001 compliant system to use relevant portions of their ISO 9001 management system to meet the management systems requirements of the new 17025. 

Adhering to a 3-year transition timeline, AIHA-LAP expects to release revised AIHA-LAP Policies to incorporate the revised ISO/IEC 17025 by July 2018 and begin accrediting labs to the new Standard 60 days after the release of the new Policies.  The goal will be to conduct all initial assessments and re-assessments using the new Standard beginning this summer so that all AIHA-LAP laboratories have been assessed to the revised Policies by November 2020. Until the new Policies are released and finalized this summer, laboratories will be assessed to the current policies and should submit the current application for re-accreditation. However, once the revised application is released, it will be the only application accepted. Once the new Policies are effective, all laboratories will be assessed to them, regardless of which application was submitted.

Beginning early spring, AIHA-LAP will be offering a series of webinars to address the major changes to the Standard. Until then, accredited laboratories are encouraged to visit the ISO website to purchase a copy of the Standard​.

A general overview of the revised Standard can also be obtained from the ISO website.

Deadline to Incorporate New Accreditation Symbols Approaching 

AIHA-LAP released updated accreditation symbols in February 2017 along with a set of administrative changes. The updated symbols (shown below) have a new design with different but related color palettes for each program that will create a better display on marketing materials. 


As a reminder, all AIHA-LAP accredited laboratories using accreditation symbols have until February 28, 2018 to incorporate the new symbols into their applicable laboratory documents.  Any laboratory wishing to use the new symbol should contact Lauren Schnack via email​ about executing a new Licensing Agreement.

Webinars Planned for New LAP Online ​Database 

AIHA-LAP is continuing development of its online database that will replace the current data management system, and make the accreditation process more efficient for staff, volunteers, site assessors and stakeholders. The database will be a platform for the entire accreditation process, and will cover everything from the submission of a lab’s application to the AAB accreditation decision. Prior to its release, several webinars will be held in the first quarter of 2018 to introduce volunteers, assessors, and accredited labs to the new system and its features. Look for more information about the webinar dates in the coming weeks. For more information on the new online database, please contact Geneva Bowman via email or at (703) 846-0791.

OSHA 7 Method Withdrawn

IHLAP accredited laboratories should be aware that the OSHA 7 Method has been withdrawn by the OSHA Technical Center Laboratory and is now classified as for historical use only. The OSHA laboratory is now citing specific NIOSH methods. The OSHA 7 method was a general procedure for the collection of common organic solvents on charcoal sorbent, followed by desorption in the appropriate solvent, and analysis by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID). The withdrawal of the OSHA 7 method does not in any way invalidate the general guidance of the method. AIHA-LAP accredited laboratories have always been required to develop desorption efficiency curves for the various analyte combinations that could be sampled on charcoal and analyzed in a single desorption solvent. This will continue to be required regardless of the method citation used.

However, since OSHA 7 is now designated for historical use only, it will not be accepted as a reference in the future. IHLAP accredited laboratories have the option of replacing the OSHA 7 method on their scope pages by (1) creating (renaming) the method as an in-house SOP and/or (2) citing each of the corresponding NIOSH or OSHA reference methods. For those laboratories that routinely analyze for multiple solvents on a single tube, we understand that citing a list of NIOSH or OSHA methods might not be practical and in those situations, recommend creating their own SOP modelled on OSHA 7. 

IHLAP laboratories accredited to the OSHA 7 method will need to decide how to replace this listing on their scope pages, and then submit a Method Addition form, that can be found on the AIHA-LAP website along with an updated SOP. 

As always, please contact the AIHA-LAP staff should you have questions about this change. 

AAB Appoints new A​AB and TAP Members

The Analytical Accreditation Board is pleased to announce that it has appointed the following experts to serve on the AAB and TAP beginning March 1, 2018:

​Appointed to AAB Program Area(s)​
​Robert Lieckfield (Maxxam Analytics)  ​IHLAP, Unique Scopes
​Rebecca Lutz (Moody Labs) ​EMLAP
​Cynthia Pugh (American Electric Power) ​IHLAP, ELLAP
 

​Appointed to TAP Program Area(s)​
​Denise Mattingly (USAFSAM) ​IHLAP, ELLAP, EMLAP 
​Anne Koebel (Environmental Safety Technologies, Inc.) ​EMLAP 
​Eva Longo (Liberty Mutual Insurance Industrial Hygiene Laboratory) ​IHLAP
​Francina Thadigiri (EMLab P&K, LLC) ​EMLAP 
​Olga Khaliukova (Assured Bio Labs, LLC) ​EMLAP 
​Kelly Wouters (Armstrong Forensic Laboratory, Inc.) ​Unique Scopes (forensics)
 

The AAB would like to thank Gerald Schultz (whose term on the AAB ends on February 28) for his service over the past 8 years, including a 2-year term as Chair where he made significant contributions to AIHA-LAP. The AAB also thanks Howard Varner whose term also ends in February for not only serving on the AAB for the past 3 years, but for his many years of dedicated volunteer service supporting AIHA-LAP in the environmental lead program. The AAB also acknowledges departing TAP members Hugh Yao, Cynthia Pugh and Rebecca Lutz for their outstanding service. As noted above, both Ms. Pugh and Ms. Lutz have been appointed to the AAB. 

Additionally, the AAB acknowledges this year’s AAB and TAP Appointment Committee (led by Beth Bair and Gerald Schultz) for reviewing the slate of AAB and TAP applicants, conducting interviews, and making recommendations that were presented to and approved by the AAB. 

We also thank the highly qualified individuals who took the time to submit applications for the AAB and TAP. We encourage all laboratory professionals to consider applying for a volunteer position next year. Applications will be due July 1, 2018. Please visit Leadership to view the entire list of AAB and TAP members and download the volunteer application. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Cheryl O. Morton via email.

Again, please join us in congratulating the new AAB and TAP appointees, and in thanking departing AAB and TAP members for their service.

AAB Leadership Change​s 

Beginning March 1, Beth Bair (University of South Carolina) will be the new Chair of the Analytical Accreditation Board. At its December 1, 2017 meeting, the AAB also appointed Michel Breu (Fiberquant Analytical Services) as the next AAB Vice Chair. The AAB and staff thanks Bill Walsh, who will be stepping down as our AAB Chair but remain on the AAB as the Past Chair, for his outstanding leadership for the past two years.   

Keith Nicholson Appointe​d Chief Site Assessor

AIHA-LAP is pleased to announce the appointment of Keith Nicholson as its Chief Site Assessor replacing Sandy Moore who has held the position for the past four years. Keith Nicholson has been an assessor for AIHA-LAP for the past 25 years and has over 40 years of experience in chemical analysis, industrial hygiene, and laboratory management and operations. He retired from the OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center in 2015. Please join AIHA-LAP in wishing Mr. Nicholson the best as he takes on his new role and thanking Ms. Moore for her leadership during the past four years. 

Lab Testing Track Will Be Par​t of AIHce EXP

AIHce EXP 2018 will be held in Philadelphia, PA and registration is officially open. A number of AIHA-LAP accredited labs will be exhibiting along with AIHA-LAP staff, so there will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to learn more about how to access reliable laboratory testing and the importance of accreditation. Once again, a Laboratory Testing Track has also been added to the education program that may prove informative for lab exhibitors and other attendees from laboratories. This track is a grouping of education courses and sessions identified as being useful for laboratory personnel and persons interested in improving their knowledge of laboratory testing and analysis. There will be a Special Session that will cover a host of important emerging topics and information for laboratory personnel. Additional information on the laboratory testing track and the Special Session will be available by the end of January.


​EVENTS

PittConn​ 2018

Orlando, FL; February 26–March 1, 2018
https://pittcon.org/pittcon-2018/

AIHA-LAP Annual Mee​​ting

Falls Church, VA; March 13–16, 2018

  • Site Assessors Meeting, March 13–14
  • New Volunteer Training and TAP Meeting, March 14
  • Joint General Session, March 15
  • AAB Meeting, March 16

AIHce EXP 2018

Philadelphia; May 21–23, 2018
www.aihce2018.org​


​FAQ FROM THIS QUARTER

What does ILAC MRA Equivalency Really Mean? 

AIHA-LAP routinely fields inquiries (many of them from laboratories in other countries) about the meaning of equivalency under the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA.) Indeed, all MRA signatories (recognized for testing) accredit labs to ISO/IEC 17025 and in doing so, are attesting to the fact that a laboratory conforms to the requirements in ISO/IEC 17025. As such, laboratories accredited by ILAC MRA signatories generally conform to the same international testing standard. Equivalency under the ILAC MRA means that test data and reports from labs accredited by ILAC MRA signatories from around the world are deemed equivalent (when labs are using the same test methods) which is a benefit to laboratories’ customers particularly in global trade. It is important to note, however, accreditation bodies themselves often have additional requirements (beyond ISO 17025) that are influenced by regulations within a country or by specific industry sectors. AIHA-LAP’s Industrial Hygiene Laboratory Accreditation Programs (IHLAP) is based on ISO/IEC 17025 and additional requirements, for example. Again, accreditation bodies (recognized for testing) accredit to ISO/IEC 17025. If they have additional requirements in place, they may not be seen as equivalent accreditation programs, but rather the test reports and data produced from accredited labs under the ILAC MRA can be deemed equivalent (when the same test methods are used) and therefore accepted globally. 

For more information on the ILAC MRA, please visit www.ilac.org​

Should you have additional questions or require additional information, please contact Cheryl Morton at (703) 846-0789. 


NEWLY ACCREDITED LABS

Congratulations to the following laboratories newly-accredited in the 4th Quarter of 2017.  

​Lab ID Lab Name​ location​ Program(s)​
​226950 ​Maxxam Analytics ​Mississauga, ON ​IHLAP
​221736 ​Newton Microbial Laboratory ​Columbia, SC ​EMLAP
​102744  ​Kem Medical Products  ​Fort Lauderdale, FL  ​IHLAP
​101754 ​Asbestos TEM Laboratories, Inc. ​Berkeley, CA ​IHLAP
​208900 ​EMLab P&K, LLC ​Henderson, NV ​IHLAP
​191327  ​Solutech Comércio e Serviços de Análises Químicas Ltda.  ​Santo André, São Paulo, BRAZIL  ​IHLAP
​102247 ​Michigan Department of Health and Human Services ​Lansing, MI ​FoodLAP
​227441 ​Apex Research ​Whitmore Lake, MI ​ELLAP
​203769 ​AIH Laboratory ​Cerritos, CA ​Unique Scopes
 

To review the full list of our newly accredited and reaccredited labs each month, click here​.​​​​​​​​

Updated: 8/24/2018 11:52 AM