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Appl Occup Environ Hyg. 2000 Jan;15(1):152-7.

Preliminary report on the results of the second phase of a round- robin endotoxin assay study using cotton dust.

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  • 1Cotton Quality Research Station, US Department of Agriculture, Clemson, South Carolina, USA.


In an on-going endotoxin assay study, a two-part interlaboratory endotoxin assay study has been completed. The purpose of the study was to compare the variation in assay results between different laboratories, and, if the variation was high, to see if a common protocol would reduce the variation. In both parts of the study, membrane filters laden with the same approximate amount and type of cotton dust were sent for analysis to laboratories that "routinely" perform endotoxin analyses. First, each of these laboratories performed the analysis using the methodology common to its laboratory. In the second part of the study, membrane filters with cotton dust were again sent to the same laboratories where the analyses were performed as before but with a common extraction protocol. The preliminary results from the first phase of the study have been collected and showed that intra-laboratory variations were small, but large and significant interlaboratory variation was observed. The results were reported elsewhere. The preliminary results from the second part of the study consisting of the data currently collected are presented here. Again, intra-laboratory variations were small, but, also again, large and significant inter-laboratory variation was observed. However, in this part of the study, the range between the highest and lowest average results was narrower than in the first part of the study. Influence of the assay kit type was examined. The variation within assay kit type was small but significant differences in results were observed between assay kit types. The findings suggest that endotoxin concentration in samples can be ranked within laboratories, but not necessarily between laboratories. However, some of the variation between laboratories has been reduced by a common extraction protocol which suggests the possibility of further standardization that may lead to better comparability between laboratories.

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