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A control chart approach to monitoring and communicating trends in tissue selenium concentrations



A primary aim of monitoring programs is to determine changes relative to background conditions, which typically represent a distribution of values, not a single value, and which may be elevated naturally. Graphical inspection of the statistical distribution of background and subsequent data provides the best means to determine changes over time and the relative significance of those changes based on both their magnitude and trajectory. The control chart approach commonly used in laboratory and product testing is a useful tool that allows for such determinations in a manner that is transparent to both scientists and nonscientists. This approach can be used both with true baseline (i.e., pre-development) data and with operational baseline (i.e., post-development) data and is particularly relevant for monitoring selenium (Se) tissue concentrations.

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