Standardized microplastics monitoring methods introduced to accreditation agencies

Posted May 6, 2022
Sydney Dial, left, demonstrates how to prepare drinking water samples to measure microplastics contamination during a three-day microplastics training workshop organized by SCCWRP.

SCCWRP hosted a three-day workshop in April to introduce laboratory accreditation agencies to California’s newly developed draft methods for measuring microplastics in drinking water, including how to evaluate laboratories for basic competency in the methods. The workshop marked the first opportunity for the laboratory accreditation community to gain hands-on experience in the microplastics measurement methods, which were standardized via an international SCCWRP-facilitated study. Workshop participants included assessors from the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP), as well as third-party assessor organizations from across the nation. The workshop was held in response to the release last fall of a State Water Resources Control Board draft policy requiring drinking water agencies in California to monitor microplastics for four years; California is expected to become the first entity in the world to enact a routine microplastics monitoring requirement for drinking water.

Laboratory accreditors visit the Moore Institute for Plastic Pollution Research in Long Beach for a mock inspection on the final day of the workshop.
SCCWRP’s Dr. Wayne Lao, in a pink lab coat, discusses Raman spectroscopy – one of two microplastics measurement methods that SCCWRP organized an international study to standardize.

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