August 2018

Second edition of FIRMS good practice guide for isotope ratio mass spectrometry published

The Forensic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (FIRMS) Network has, in collaboration with the National Measurement Laboratory (NML), hosted at LGC, recently updated their highly regarded Good Practice Guide for Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS).

Isotope ratio measurements can have potentially serious consequences for individuals, companies and economies. They can be used to detect testosterone doping, identify counterfeit pharmaceuticals, or feed in to climate models used to determine government economic policies. However, regardless of the application area of isotope ratio measurements, good practices are essential to ensure the quality of data is fit-for-purpose and that conclusions drawn from the interpretation of results are sound.

Phil Dunn, Senior Researcher at the NML and Director and Chair of the Forensic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (FIRMS) Network, explains: “This Guide can be of benefit to all practitioners of IRMS for whom quality and good practice are essential. The second edition reflects the significant instrumental developments in the field over the last seven years. It includes expanded sections on quality management and control and further guidance on the fundamental measurement science principles of traceability, method validation and estimation of measurement uncertainty.”
The guide can be freely downloaded from our website.
This guide has been produced by the FIRMS Steering Group, and funded in part by the UK government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The FIRMS Network welcomes comments, suggestions and criticisms from the isotope ratio community so that later editions continue to capture developments in good practice. Comments may be addressed to GPG@forensic-isotopes.org.