Summer 2019 Newsletter
Important Information for Accredited Labs
NIOSH 7400 Method Revised
All AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs (AIHA LAP) accredited labs should be aware that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health recently published a new version of NIOSH Method 7400, a phase contrast microscopy method for asbestos and other fibers. The revised method includes the following changes:
- More accurate values for the minimum width limits for asbestos fiber detection — a value of 0.15 μm for chrysotile and 0.05 μm for amphibole asbestos. Note that PCM does not distinguish between asbestos types.
- DMF/acetic acid as an alternative filter-clearing procedure to acetone, and Euparal as an alternative mounting medium to triacetin. Either mounting medium is used with either clearing procedure. The DMF/acetic acid procedure does not leave undissolved residues from the filter medium, which may appear as fibers. Euparal produces permanent mounts regardless of the quantity of medium used. This revision also allows the continued use of dimethyl phthalate/diethyl oxalate, if preferred.
- A generic description of phase-shift test slides. The description now requires the slides to have only a certificate stating that there are fully visible blocks and invisible blocks, so that the required phase-shift is bracketed. This more generic description of the phase-shift test slides allows laboratories to be compliant with method requirements.
- Standard relocatable test slides as an additional nonmandatory quality assurance appendix, and as documentation of inter- and intra-microscopist precision without the contribution from the selection of counting fields.
- Guidance on the calculation of an expanded uncertainty budget. This guidance allows users to determine expanded uncertainty as required under international standards.
- All laboratories shall participate in a proficiency testing program, such as the AIHA Proficiency Analytical Testing program.
- Each laboratory shall participate in a round-robin program that includes at least two other laboratories.
Review the revised NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods. AIHA LAP laboratories assessed over the next several months should, at minimum, be able to demonstrate that they have obtained and are aware of the revised NIOSH 7400. Beginning on Nov. 1, 2019, however, laboratories using this PCM method must demonstrate that they have implemented the requirements of the updated NIOSH 7400 or they will receive deficiencies. For more information, please contact the LAP staff.
EPA Finalizes Rule on Dust-Lead Hazard Standards
As announced in the Spring 2019 LAP e-News, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed revisions to the dust-lead hazard standards earlier this year. On June 21, 2019, the EPA finalized the rule revising the DLHS from 40 µg/ft2 for floors and 250 µg/ft2 for window sills to 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2, respectively. Risk assessors will compare dust sampling results for floors and window sills to the new, lower DLHS from this rule. Sampling results above a new hazard standard will indicate that a dust-lead hazard is present on the surfaces tested.
AIHA LAP lead laboratories, which are recognized by the National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program, will need to meet these new limits to maintain or achieve recognition. Specifically, lead labs that analyze dust wipe samples for lead will need to show they can achieve a quantitation limit “equal to or less than … 50% of the lowest action level (i.e., regulatory limit) for dust wipe samples.” [Laboratory Quality System Requirements (LQSR)] The quantitation limit must also be “at least two times but no greater than 10 times the method detection limit.” (LQSR) As a result of this rulemaking, the “lowest action level for dust wipe samples” will be the DLHS for floors at 10 µg/ft2. Therefore, laboratories that wish to maintain or obtain National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program recognition must be able to demonstrate a quantitation limit equal to or less than 5 µg/ft2, and the corresponding method detection limit.
AIHA LAP will begin assessing the new requirements, outlined above, in January 2020. In the meantime, we encourage all laboratories to begin evaluating their capabilities to meet these new requirements.
For more information, please contact Cheryl Morton at email@example.com.
ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Webinar Still Available
AIHA LAP accredited laboratories are reminded that a complimentary webinar on ISO/IEC 17025:2017 is still available to all accredited labs once they show proof of purchase of the revised standard. The webinar is a recorded presentation given by Ronald Peters in which he highlights the key differences between ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and the revised standard. All AIHA LAP accredited laboratories in good standing can access the webinar and print out presentation slides. Please email proof of purchase of the standard to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive access to the webinar.
Volunteer and Site Assessor News
AIHA LAP Seeking AAB/TAP and Assessor Applicants
AIHA LAP is seeking qualified volunteers to fill positions on the Analytical Accreditation Board and the Technical Advisory Panel to serve terms that begin on March 1, 2020 The deadline for applications has been extended to August 30, 2019. For additional information, please email Cheryl O. Morton at email@example.com or call 703-846-0789.
AIHA LAP is also l looking for both part-time and full-time assessors in order to expand its site assessor team. AIHA LAP site assessors will have opportunities to visit laboratory sites all over the country and world, auditing them to ISO/IEC 17025:2017. AIHA-LAP will provide training needed to assess to AIHA LAP policies in addition to hosting training refreshers yearly. For more information and to inquire about the position, please contact Geneva Bowman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIHA LAP at AIHce 2019
AIHA LAP staff and laboratories had a strong presence at American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibition 2019 (AIHce 2019), which took place May 20-22 in Minneapolis. Attendees had access to information and strategies needed to protect worker health, as well as opportunities to grow their professional network. This year’s conference featured a number of education sessions that gave laboratory professionals a chance to learn about the latest in laboratory testing, sampling, and analysis, including a special two-part session organized by Bob Lieckfield (Maaxum Analytics/BV). The first part of the session, “Understanding the Differences Between AIHA Laboratory Programs,” gave participants information on the following conformity assessment programs: AIHA-Proficiency Analytical Testing Programs, AIHA-Laboratory Accreditation Programs, and AIHA Registry Programs. The second part, “A Look at ISO/IEC 17025:2017 One Year Later,” guided attendees through what AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs has learned about the new performance-based standard, with a focus on its risk-based thinking requirements. Lieckfield gave an outstanding presentation to help labs understand how to identify, prioritize, and manage risks in their business practices and day-to-day operations. Look for Lieckfield’s article on risk-based thinking in the August Synergist.
The expo portion of the conference featured vendors and services, including some 27 accredited laboratories. AIHA LAP is proud to have been a part of AIHce 2019, and we thank the following accredited laboratories that exhibited:
- A&B Labs
- Aerobiology Laboratory Associates Inc.
- ALS Environmental
- Analytics Corporation
- Assay Technology Inc./AT Labs/MNR Services
- Assured Bio Labs
- Bureau Veritas/Maxxam
- Chubb Global Risk Advisors
- EMLab P&K & Eurofins TestAmerica
- EMSL Analytical Inc.
- International Asbestos Testing Laboratories
- Liberty Mutual Insurance
- Northeast Laboratory Services
- PathCon Laboratories
- QuanTEM Laboratories
- SafeBridge Consultants Inc.
- SanAir Technologies Laboratory Inc.
- Schneider Laboratories Global Inc.
- Scientific Analytical Institute Inc.
- SGS Galson
We look forward to seeing everyone next year in Atlanta!
Congratulations to the Following Newly Accredited Labs:
Congratulations to the State Hygienic Laboratory of Iowa (Lab ID 101048) for its initial accreditation under the Unique Scopes Program.
Review AIHA LAP’s full list of our newly accredited and reaccredited laboratories each month.