Action number 11104 Last updated 10/12/2010 12:48:06 Year 2011
Title Chemical Metrology in support of European Policies
Acronym ChemMet
Type Action
Institute JRC.D Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (Geel)
Leader VAN NEVEL Lutgart JRC.D.3   E-Mail
1 Prosperity in a Knowledge intensive society
1.1 Competitiveness and innovation
Ghent University
Flemish Environment Agency
International Committee on Weights and Measures
European co-operation for Accreditation
European Organisation of Metrology (EURAMET)
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
Customer DGs AGRI - Agriculture and Rural Development
ELARG - Enlargement
ENTR - Enterprise and Industry
ENV - Environment
OLAF - European Anti-Fraud Office
RTD - Research
SANCO - Health and Consumers
SG - Secretariat General
Keywords: Confidence in measurements, metrology, reference measurements, measurement infrastructure, knowledge transfer, EMRP, applied isotope measurements, environment, air, water, soil, nitrate contamination, particulate matter, source apportionment, PAHs in air, food, agriculture, authentication, biofuel, anti-fraud measures
The EU internal market, international trade as well as EU legislation in many sectors e.g. food, health, environment and agriculture, depend on chemical measurement results. Reliable measurements are needed to allow recognition of measurement results across borders and to reduce technical barriers to trade (Article 30 of the Rome Treaty).
The measurement infrastructure in Europe is supported by international and European organisations like European Accreditation (EA), European Organization for Standardization (CEN) and the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET). These organisations rely on technical assistance from the Member States and from JRC-IRMM, which is recognised as a metrology institute on a par with national metrology institutes. As such JRC-IRMM is a signatory of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of the International Committee of Weights and Measures (CIPM) along with the world's leading metrology institutes. Furthermore JRC-IRMM is an associate of EURAMET together with all national metrology institutes of the Member States and EFTA. Hence, JRC-IRMM regularly benchmarks and registers its measurement capabilities and reference materials in the MRA Appendix C after participation in key comparisons organised by the Comité Consultatif pour la Quantité de Matière (CCQM) and is an active member of the CCQM and EURAMET.
This action contributes towards creating a common approach to using measurement science by those who conceive European legislation as well as those who carry out or make use of such measurements for the implementation of the legislation. It does so by providing reference measurements, by knowledge transfer regarding quality of chemical measurements and by performing pre-normative research relevant on measurement methodology and applications for EU policies. The Commission's inter-service coordination group 'Measurement Standards for European Legislation', operated by this action, has confirmed that the lack of a common approach on how to handle measurement technical issues in European legislation often leads to barriers to the implementation of legislation. This holds for policy areas linked to environment, food, transport, taxation, internal market etc. This inter-service coordination group strives towards 'Better Regulation' (COM (2005) 97; 2003/C321/01), for cases where measurements are involved.
Summary of the activity
In 2011, the following activities are carried out:

>Pre-normative research is performed in the area of isotopic measurements (e.g. source apportionment studies) linked to EU legislation and policies concerning the environment, fraud prevention, health and consumer protection. These activities result in improved measurement methodologies, novel applications and eventually dedicated reference materials enabling improved policy implementation. European networking ensures the spread of best practice and a science-policy interface is created by linking the respective research community with those that implement legislation. In 2011, method development to identify the origin of nitrate contamination in surface waters is continued not only by experimental activities but also by enabling a networked multidisciplinary approach with other European scientists (INPAR network). Further method development efforts for source apportionment for air pollution (via PAHs and particulate matter) and on the regional origin of food (Italian potatoes) will be continued. The current analytical methods will be used to investigate potential identifiers to assist in antifraud issues related to biofuel production. The latter is done in the frame of the European Metrology Research Programme (an article 185 initiative). For these developments, collaborations and synergies are sought with other JRC actions (e.g. JRC Action Environmental Reference materials-22006, JRC Action-Air pollution and effects-13203).

>Reference measurements of the highest metrological quality are performed in support of specific customers such as the EU Laboratory of Heavy Metals in Feed and Food (EU RL) (JRC Action Food safety and quality control-33004). The expertise is also offered on request in the frame of the European Reference Materials (ERM) programme) (JRC action-European Reference Materials Technology developments and quality management-11102), the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA-CCQM) and for fundamental constant projects (Avogadro, Boltzmann) linked to the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP).

>In 2011, technical assistance regarding metrology is given to EC staff (e.g. example from 2010 – JRC involvement in the impact assessment steering group on the revision of the Measurement Instrument Directive of the Directorate General for enterprise and industrie (DG ENTR). The interservice coordination group 'Measurement Standards for European Legislation' continues its operation in order to offer a platform to other Directorate Generals (DGs) for similar initiatives. Support is given to the Enlargement DG and EuropAid regarding design of projects and technical evaluation of supply contracts. Interactions on Better Regulation also take place with the Secretariat General.

>The actions' knowledge transfer activity focuses on creating and disseminating harmonised knowledge on metrology in chemistry across Europe via the life-long learning initiative 'TrainMiC' with as target audience practitioners, assessors and users of measurement data in general. This activity supports amongst others the implementation of the EU legislative framework on accreditation (765/2008/EC and 768/2008/EC) and is part of the Collaboration Agreement with the European Accreditation (EA). Master students receive training on these issues via the accredited initiative EUROMASTER 'Measurements in science'. In addition in-house training opportunities for young scientists in reference measurement methodology including metrology concepts are offered.
To carry out pre-normative research in the area of isotopic measurements for anticipated measurement needs of EU legislation (environmental, fraud prevention, health and consumer protection).
Deliverable  1.1
Article in a scientific journal concerning the nitrate source apportionment project including the study on boron isotopes
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  1.2
A workshop of the INPAR network organised by IRMM and a report covering topics discussed
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  1.3
Review article in a scientific journal on nitrate isotopes in coastal and estuarine waters
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  1.4
Report on the set-up and method development for the configuration of the liquid chromatography coupled to the isotope ratio mass spectrometer
CAT3 - Validated and harmonized methods and measurements
Deliverable  1.5
Feasibility report on the potential of applying a TiO2 solid phase extraction method on silver in natural and waste disposal samples (possibly combined with isotope dilution ICP-MS)
CAT3 - Validated and harmonized methods and measurements
Deliverable  1.6
Report on the use of internal standards for the calibration of carbon gas chromatography - isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS) measurement of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in particulate matter in air
CAT3 - Validated and harmonized methods and measurements
Deliverable  1.7
Report on the development of a more elaborate sample clean-up procedure to remove interfering compounds in the GC-MS analysis of PAH in PM
CAT3 - Validated and harmonized methods and measurements
Deliverable  1.8
Report on the results of carbon GC-IRMS analysis results of PAH in samples from collaboration with VMM, the Flemish environmental agency, and other samples collected in the framework of a PhD study
CAT3 - Validated and harmonized methods and measurements
Deliverable  1.9
Report on measurements results of isotopic ratios of nitrogen and carbon in samples obtained from VMM and University of Antwerp
CAT3 - Validated and harmonized methods and measurements
Deliverable  1.10
Report on the feasibility of combining OC/EC (Organic Carbon/Elemental Carbon) analysis with carbon isotopic ratio measurements aiming at better differentiation between OC and EC and at the potential of source apportionment of both using carbon isotopic data.
CAT3 - Validated and harmonized methods and measurements
Deliverable  1.11
Article accepted in a scientific journal on the isotopic composition of strontium in Italian potatoes for source identification in support of anti-fraud policies.
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  1.12
Article accepted in a scientific journal on mercury isotopic work.
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  1.13
Article accepted in a scientific journal concerning method development for isotopic measurements on small size liquid samples
CAT7 - Scientific publications
To develop and provide the most advanced, globally accepted reference measurements.
Deliverable  2.1
Accepted article in a scientific journal on the high precision measurement of the Avogadro constant based on silicon-28
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  2.2
Accepted article in a scientific journal on isotope fractionation in SiF4 fragmentation in the mass spectrometer ion source
CAT7 - Scientific publications
To develop a gateway/helpdesk for interacting and assisting Commission staff dealing with measurement issues.
Deliverable  3.1
Report on the 2011 activities of the inter-service coordination group Measurement Standards European Legislation
CAT5 - Other policy support products and services
Deliverable  3.2
Assistance reports (formulated opinions) with the project fiches and supply contracts in the area of metrology to Enlargement DG (throughout the year when requested)
CAT2 - Policy support documents
To run a system for systematic training, exchange of knowledge and best practices on metrology and modern measurement standards in support of EU policies (e.g. within the JRC, for DGs, for the EU's accreditation bodies and other stakeholders)
Deliverable  4.1
The annual report on TrainMiC, including overview of activities and reports on management board meetings and editorial board meetings
CAT8 - Training courses
Deliverable  4.2
One TrainMiC training session for new trainers from EU-27 countries
CAT8 - Training courses
Deliverable  4.3
Convention of all TrainMiC authorised trainers, a bi-annual assembly event organised by IRMM and a public report
CAT8 - Training courses
Deliverable  4.4
The Euromaster 'Measurement Science in Chemistry' Summer School co-organised by IRMM as Euromaster mentor organisation and a public report.
CAT8 - Training courses
To develop a validated procedure for the multi-element screening & accurate elemental & inorganic isotope ratio determination in biofuels and raw materials' within workpackage 4 (Traceability for origin discrimination of Biofuels) of the European Metrology Research Programme - EMRP Biofuel (contract EMRP 2009-ENG09)
Deliverable  5.1
Progress Report (JRC Technical Note)
CAT3 - Validated and harmonized methods and measurements
To train Turkish scientists via the EMIT project within the Instrument for Pre-accession (IPA) (contract nro 31331)
Deliverable  6.1
Training period of one year for one Turkish scientist on the use of isotope dilution mass spectrometry
CAT8 - Training courses
To provide reference measurements to the EU Reference Laboratory for Heavy Metals in Feed and Food (FP7 Action 33004)
Deliverable  7.1
Measurement certificates for cadmium, lead or mercury content in support to the EU Reference Laboratory Heavy Metals in Feed and Food
CAT3 - Validated and harmonized methods and measurements
To create distant learning approaches for training of metrological concepts in chemical laboratories in order to strenghten the measurement infrastructure within the frame of integration and enlargement activities of the Commission
Deliverable  8.1
A report on a study on the requirements and current approaches to develop interactive course material for distant learning purposes.
CAT8 - Training courses
Deliverable  8.2
Case study: One TrainMic training module transferred into an interactive e-learning teaching course including assessment of learning efficiency means
CAT8 - Training courses
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