Finding and Dealing with Improper Laboratory Practices

Best Management Practices for Environmental Laboratories
Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Newton1, M. Miller2
1 - NV5 Dade Moeller and Associates, PO Box 1147, Citronelle, AL, 36522, United States
2 - MQC, LLC, , , United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 251-243-3631


We are seeing a reoccurrence of the improper laboratory practices we saw in the early 1990’s. This paper deals with the underlying causes, discusses detection, and dealing with these issues. The key issue is that the training on data integrity does not always work. How do we as an industry truly cure our problem? Suggestions and approaches will be discussed.
• Mentoring
• Working to show the consequences of improper practices
• Failing to plan and thus failing to deliver defensible data
This paper discusses some unusual items beyond time travel and peak shaving. This discussion provides examples of improper practices and how to deal with them. The following examples will be discussed:
1. Identification of improper calibrations e.g., cherry picking points, faking the lower level of detection, cutting and pasting),
2. Upper management reporting data to meet client-specific permits on the ‘off shift’,
3. Failure to extract samples, double spiking