The Industrial Hygiene Proficiency Analytical Testing (IHPAT) Program is designed to assist a laboratory in improving its analytical performance by providing samples on a quarterly basis, evaluating the results, and providing a report on how well the laboratory performed. In the same way, the IHPAT Program also tests the analytical competence of participating occupational health laboratories.
The analytes covered under the IHPAT Program include: metals, silica, asbestos, solvents, and diffusive sampler badges. Based on what analyses are performed by the laboratory, sample kits contain up to five silica filters, five asbestos filters, five metals filters, and ten charcoal tubes (four samples, a blank and five tubes for determination of desorption efficiency). The metals filters contain three metals (lead, cadmium, zinc, or chromium) which are rotated on the samples that are distributed each round. The charcoal tubes contain one, two or three organic solvents that are also rotated each round and include benzene, ethyl acetate, methyl isobutyl ketone, n-butyl acetate, methanol, methyl ethyl ketone, 2-propanol, chloroform, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, o-xylene, toluene, trichlorethylene, or tetrachlorethylene. The diffusive samplers contain three analytes (benzene, toluene and o-xylene).
Additionally, the AIHA-PATP has a Diffusive Sampler IHPAT Program. The AIHA-PATP currently supplies diffusive sampler badges from these three manufacturers: 3M, SKC and Assay Technology. Laboratories that participate in the diffusive sampler program must choose the manufacturer type(s) that they want to use. Toulene (TOL), Benzene (BNZ), and o-Xylene (OXY) are the analytes currently being used. Sample kits shipped to laboratories consist of two monitors. A report form is provided for each monitor set and contains information on the manufacturer-supplied uptake rates. OSHA sampling rates for toluene and o-xylene are also provided for SKC samplers. Concentrations are reported in ppm using manufacturers’ information on diffusion and concentration factors.
Since 1987, CEM’s laboratory has analyzed and continues to analyze samples taken from the workplace environment. CEM’s laboratory is part of the IHPAT Program participating in the AIHA-PATP’s Industrial Hygiene Laboratory Accreditation Program.
CEM is also a participant in the AIHA-PATP’s IHPAT diffusive sampler program. A laboratory seeking accreditation for the analysis of diffusive samplers using gas chromatography must participate. Laboratories that elect to enroll in the diffusive sampler program do so through the IHPAT program.
As an AIHA-LAP Industrial Hygiene accredited laboratory, CEM is required to analyze and submit results for those Fields of Testing (FoTs) that CEM’s laboratory is accredited for. These include: