Accuracy investigation of phthalate metabolite standards
Phthalates are ubiquitous compounds whose metabolites are usually determined in urine for biomonitoring studies. Following suspect and unexplained results from our laboratory in an external quality-assessment scheme, we investigated the accuracy of all phthalate metabolite standards in our possession by comparing them with those of several suppliers. Our findings suggest that commercial phthalate metabolite certified solutions are not always accurate and that lot-to-lot discrepancies significantly affect the accuracy of the results obtained with several of these standards. These observations indicate that the reliability of the results obtained from different lots of standards is not equal, which reduces the possibility of intra-laboratory and inter-laboratory comparisons of results. However, agreements of accuracy have been observed for a majority of neat standards obtained from different suppliers, which indicates that a solution to this issue is available. Data accuracy of phthalate metabolites should be of concern for laboratories performing phthalate metabolite analysis because of the standards used. The results of our investigation are presented from the perspective that laboratories performing phthalate metabolite analysis can obtain accurate and comparable results in the future. Our findings will contribute to improving the quality of future phthalate metabolite analyses and will affect the interpretation of past results.