HBM4EU ICI EQUAS report Chromium in blood round 4

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Within the framework of the HBM4EU project, an Inter-Laboratory Comparison Investigation (ICI) was organized and conducted for the analysis of chromium in blood.
The study was performed from October 2019 to December 2019.
In total, 46 laboratories were invited for this fourth round, of which 17 laboratories from 12 countries registered.
The participation in this ICI was satisfactory; 14 out of 17 laboratories (82%) submitted their results.
In November 2019, two different test samples consisting of 3 mL blood spiked with chromium at two different concentrations (Crlow, Crhigh), one of each concentration, were prepared, and one sample of each concentration was sent to the participating laboratories for analysis.
Homogeneity and stability assessment of the control materials confirmed that the materials were adequately homogeneous and stable.
Laboratory results were rated using Z-scores in accordance with ISO 13528 and ISO 17043. The standard deviation for proficiency assessment (also called target standard deviation) was set at FFP = 25%, as described in 5.3.
The evaluation of Crlow showed that 70% of the results were satisfactory, 15% were questionable and 15% were unsatisfactory (Table 1). For Crhigh, 93% of the results were satisfactory and 7% were unsatisfactory.