Tobacco reference materials: uses and limitations
In the framework of the growing regulations of tobacco products, interest is expressed in wider characterisation in terms of contents and emissions. This leads to the need for analytical methods providing accurate, reliable and consistent data. This is of major importance within each laboratory and among all laboratories when product comparisons and / or proposals of ceilings arise.
For this purpose, it is the usual practice of laboratories to refer to data obtained on reference materials or monitor test pieces. Such materials are useful for method development and validation, calibration and quality assurance. However, tobacco reference materials may present some limitations.
This poster presents an overview of the definitions, specifications and uses of reference materials as described by ISO; the European co-operation for Accreditation & Eurolab & Eurachem; the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation; the Labnetwork and the US FDA.
In this context, the suitability of the following tobacco reference materials is assessed: CORESTA Monitor test piece (CM7), Kentucky reference products (3R4F and 1R5F), CORESTA Reference Products (Snus CRP1, moist snuff CRP2, dry snuff CRP3, loose leaf chewing tobacco CRP4) and Polish certified tobacco materials (Tobacco leaves INCT-OBTL-5 and INCT-PVTL-6).
It has been shown that tobacco product references cannot be strictly considered as reference materials, especially for trueness because certified values are not available.