Detection and Quantification of Environmental Pollutants
Environment: Water and Waste
Published Online: 15 SEP 2012
Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry
How to Cite
Gibbons, R. D. 2012. Detection and Quantification of Environmental Pollutants . Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2012
With increasing concern over chemicals that are potential health hazards at low levels, determination of limits of detection and quantification have undergone considerable scrutiny. Most traditional detection limit (DL) estimators suffer from extensive statistical and/or conceptual limitations. In this article, traditional detection and quantification limit estimators are described and critically evaluated. Methods are categorized into decision limits, DLs and quantification limits. The methods are further categorized into single concentration design versus calibration design methodologies. While the single concentration design methods are useful for fixing ideas and clarifying definitions they are shown to be extremely limited in practice since dependence of variability on concentration can be neither estimated nor incorporated. Calibration-based detection and quantification limit estimators are described, compared, and contrasted. Discussion of nonconstant variance, multiple future detection decisions and simultaneous control of Type I and II errors is provided. The various methods are illustrated using real data and experimental design issues for DL studies discussed.