Practical Considerations for Sampling


Authors: John J. Barron & Leo Geary – Technical Services Department, Reagecon Diagnostics Ltd, Shannon Free Zone, County Clare, Ireland


Poor sampling has a profound negative effect on the quality of an analytical result. Incorrect choice of sampling equipment, containers, storage and transport all have a deleterious effect on the sample integrity and thus affect the final result. Sampling errors can be costly because they lead to unnecessary costs in terms of materials, labour and poor decisions made based on the analytical result. This paper outlines practical considerations which should be borne in mind when sampling. These include such aspects as the correct choice of sampling equipment, container types, safety, labelling, transport and storage of samples. It provides a definite set of guidelines on how different sampling errors can be reduced or eliminated thus giving the user greater confidence in the results obtained from their samples.

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