A new interlaboratory comparison exercise (ILC) for the measurement of gaseous inorganic pollutants in ambient air

Ineris, as a member of the French Central Laboratory for Monitoring Air Quality (Laboratoire central de surveillance de la qualité de l'air – LCSQA), took part in a European interlaboratory comparison (ILC) exercise organised recently by the JRC (Joint Research Centre/European Commission Centre for Scientific Research) for the measurement of gaseous inorganic pollutants (carbon monoxide [CO], nitrogen oxides [NOx], sulphur dioxide [SO2] and ozone [O3]).

This year, Ineris was one of 10 organisations participating in the ILC for gaseous inorganic pollutants (CO, NOx, SO2, O3), which brought together 10 European countries (Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and France). The exercise took place in Ispra, Italy, from 18 to 21 March 2024. Our participation also meets the requirements of standard NF EN ISO/IEC 17025 – General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, for which Ineris has been certified for nitrogen oxides (NO/NO2), ozone (O3) and PM10 and PM2.5 particles.

As the national reference laboratory, the LCSQA is responsible for ensuring the accuracy and quality of all data produced by the national monitoring system, in accordance with its missions as defined in the Order of 16 April 2021. ILCs are an essential means of ensuring quality control, helping to improve practices, and identifying where progress needs to be made. The comparisons constitute a reliable and effective means of verifying the proper functioning of the air quality monitoring system in France, and of ensuring the quality of the resulting measurements.
The LCSQA participates at least once every three years, through its members, in ILCs intended for national reference laboratories at EU level, which are organised by the JRC to analyse all regulated pollutants. These exercises provide an opportunity to assess the quality of each participant’s measurements when using the reference methods for measurement of the aforementioned gaseous pollutants according to standards specified in the regulatory reference framework in force.