alternative method's results have been submitted to analytical
quality assurance since its original conception, through a critical
comparison of the results, using the cold vapor technique coupled
with atomic absorption spectrometry, besides participating in
inter-laboratory exercises coordinated by the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA) and the use of control samples with known concentrations
in the test routine.
From January 2002 to January 2006 we participated in inter-laboratory
exercises coordinated by the CFIA, as part of the Mercury Quality
Assurance Program (MQAP). This program aimed to guarantee the
quality of test results for mercury in fish. Four unknown samples
were sent to participating laboratories around the world (50 laboratories
on average) and analyzed within a deadline set by the Program
coordinators. The consolidated results underwent statistical analysis
and the report was then sent to the laboratory for self-evaluation.
The table below shows the comparison of the consensus results
and the results of the semi-quantitative method, demonstrating
its efficiency. Unfortunately the MQAP was suspended in January
2006, and we are currently studying the possibility of joining
another similar program.