Advancing microplastic analysis: from laboratory inception to accreditation

June 21st, 2024

Presentation by Julia Jaeger (Eurofins ANZ)
Abstract

In 2019, Eurofins Environment Testing marked a significant advancement in by establishing a state-of-the-art laboratory dedicated to Microplastic testing. This facility is outfitted with the Agilent 8700 Laser Direct Infrared (LDIR) Chemical Imaging System to analyse Microplastics. Our team has adapted methodologies from existing literature and standards to align with our ISO/EC 17025 accredited environmental laboratory operations, thus ensuring high precision and reliability in our analyses. Our current setup allows us to determine the size (ranging from 20 to 5000 ┬Ám), morphology, colour, and identity of microplastics in various matrices, including clean and environmental waters, soils, biosolids, sand, sediment, and biota for routine commercial samples. A key aspect of our approach is the implementation of rigorous QA/QC measures, significantly minimising analytical uncertainty. A notable milestone was the award of our ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation by NATA for the testing of Microplastics in Potable Water in November 2023, making us the first accredited laboratory for Microplastics testing in the Southern Hemisphere. This presentation will outline our journey from the laboratory’s establishment to achieving accreditation, emphasising our contributions to environmental science and microplastic research through studies conducted in our laboratory.