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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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There are many factors that need to be considered when selecting a laboratory for sample analysis. There is no single item that would inherently qualify or disqualify a laboratory from consideration.

The following questions may be used in evaluating and comparing laboratories. Bear in mind that you will need to consider any responses in light of your requirements. The links provide explanations and additional information about each consideration.

Laboratory Experience and Knowledge


  • How long has the laboratory staff analyzed crystalline silica?
  • Does the laboratory staff appear knowledgeable about the type of workplace you are sampling and the substances that may be present?
  • Is the laboratory staff aware of the analytical method's limitations?
  • Is the laboratory staff knowledgeable of the sampling method and its limitations?
Quality Assurance and Quality Control

  • Does the laboratory have a quality assurance/quality control program?
  • Is the laboratory accredited for silica analysis?
  • Does the laboratory participate in proficiency studies (e.g., AIHA PAT) for silica?
  • Is the laboratory rated proficient in these studies?
  • Does the laboratory examine the cause of outliers and can they provide a plausible explanation?
  • Does the laboratory provide pre-weighed media?
Instrumentation and Calibration

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