Analytical reports are an essential tool in the communication between a laboratory and its clients. Whether to comply with government regulations, for sales and marketing purposes, or for your own information, it is important to understand the wealth of information found in an analytical report. Since every laboratory has its own report format and system, it can be a little overwhelming. CSL would like to take this opportunity to go over some of the key information found on our reports.
1.) Types of reports issued by CSL
Every sample CSL accepts is issued an “Analytical Report,” although multiple samples may be found on a single report. You may also get a “Preliminary Analytical Report.” In this case, there are analyses yet to be completed, a particular analyte may need to be rerun, or you may have requested certain results although the full report is not yet complete. Usually, someone from CSL will call to explain why a report is deemed “preliminary.” A “Revised Analytical Report” indicates that you have already received the report, but it has been changed to reflect new information.
Practical Quantitation Limit or PQL identifies CSL’s lowest reportable level for that particular matrix and analyte. In our SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) PQL is defined as “the smallest amount of analyte in a test sample that can be quantitatively determined with suitable precision and accuracy under normal method conditions.” In some cases, CSL may be able to report at a lower level than the standard PQL. If you require a specific detection level, be sure to note it on the sample submittal form.
CSL generally reports in ug/g (micrograms per gram) for powder/solid samples and mg/L (milligrams per liter) for liquid samples. However, we are usually able to accommodate requests for other units such as ppm (parts per million), %, etc. It is best to include any unit requests on the sample submittal form. Results can also be reported on a per tablet/capsule/serving basis. Note: 1 ppm = 1 ug/g = 1000 ppb = 0.00001%.
You will notice many different dates throughout a CSL report. The date at the top of the page shows when the report was put together. This may differ from the date on the signature line, which is typically the day the report is faxed or e-mailed to you. In the right column you will find the Date Received (the day CSL receives sample), Completed (the day that all the analyses were finished), and the Discard Date (the day until which CSL will hold the sample). The report also shows a date on which each requested analyte was run.
5.) Sample Information
If there is specific information that you require on your report regarding specific samples, be sure to write this on the sample submittal form. A sample type is always noted (powder, tablet, liquid, etc.). You, the client, must provide the description and other identifying information, such as lot number, for it to be included on the report.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding a report or our format in general. We are more than happy to help you in any way that we can.