New Research on Stability of Environmental Samples in Long-Term Storage for Later Use

Susan Viet

Storing collected environmental samples for future retrospective analyses provides many advantages for research. However, information about sample stability in storage is necessary to determine if there will be analyte loss or gain or degradation over time. Westat’s Susan Viet, Ph.D., and the National Institutes of Health’s Michael Dellarco, Dr.PH., have coauthored a chapter in a new book on key considerations to keep in mind for stability of environmental samples in storage.

Their chapter, Considerations for Stability of Environmental Samples in Storage for Long-Term Studies, appears in Analytical Chemistry - Advancement, Perspectives and Applications. Their research is part of the National Children’s Study (NCS) pilot, in which Westat designed studies to evaluate the stability of environmental samples in long-term storage.

“We conducted an extensive literature review of known analyte stability. Many analytes—especially organic chemicals—are not stable even in very cold storage,” explains Dr. Viet. “Sometimes solid-phase extraction (SPE) can extend the storage stability period. When the stability is unknown, stability samples can be included with the study samples to determine when laboratory analysis should be conducted.”

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