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The use and abuse of limits of detection in environmental analytical chemistry.

Brown, R J C (2008) The use and abuse of limits of detection in environmental analytical chemistry. The Scientific World Journal, 8. pp. 796-801.

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The limit of detection (LoD) serves as an important method performance measure that is useful for the comparison of measurement techniques, and the assessment of likely signal to noise performance, especially in environmental analytical chemistry. However, the limit of detection is only truly related to the precision characteristics of the analytical instrument employed for the analysis, and the content of analyte in the blank sample. This article discusses how other criteria, such as sampling volume, can serve to artificially distort the limit of detection, and make comparison between various analytical methods inequitable. In order to compare properly LoDs between methods it is necessary to state clearly all of the input parameters relating to the measurements that have been used in the calculation of the LoD. Additionally the article discusses that the use of LoD in contexts other that the comparison of the attributes of analytical methods, in particular when reporting analytical results, may be confusing, less informative than quoting the actual result with an accompanying statement of uncertainty, and may act to bias descriptive statistics.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Analytical Science
Analytical Science > Trace Analysis and Electrochemistry
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2018 13:13
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/4191

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