Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s Air Quality Standardisation Unit receives international accreditation

WAM ABU DHABI, 30th December, 2013 (WAM) — The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s (EAD) Air Quality Laboratory has received ISO-17025 accreditation from the National Association of Testing Authorities in Australia – making it the first laboratory in the U.A.E. to receive accreditation in the field of calibration of air quality monitoring gases, mixtures and instruments. The work conducted at the laboratory is now officially recognised under international best practice for quality control testing and procedures.

One of EAD’s strategic priorities is to ensure clean air for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Its air quality programme helps monitor the Emirate’s air by tracking important information, 24 hours a day, from its 20 monitoring stations located across Abu Dhabi Emirate.

Data is transmitted in near real time every hour and allows citizens and residents to better understand the status of air quality in the surrounding areas.

In just under two years, EAD successfully implemented an enhanced system of quality assurance and control (QA/QC) measures for its developing air quality monitoring network. Following an audit and site visit by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA), the laboratory was awarded the ISO-17025 accreditation. NATA is the authority responsible for the accreditation of laboratories, inspection bodies, calibration services, producers of certified reference materials and proficiency testing scheme providers. Additionally, the NATA accreditation is recognised by bodies globally through the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).

Ruqaya Mahmoud Mohamed, Manager of Air Quality, Noise and Climate Change at EAD, said, “The accreditation acknowledges EAD as a leading entity for air quality monitoring in the region, and ensures that the data collected by our network is supported by robust quality procedures. It also allows for comparisons and exchange of information on air quality with international peers.” She added, “Our network of 20 air monitoring stations provides us with information on the level of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulates and more. The data collected is accessible by the public on the EAD air quality website in near real time.” The laboratory consists of a range of gas analysers, calibration equipment and compressed gas standards. The quality assurance procedures ensure that the calibration gases of all equipment is traceable to international standards such as those of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

WAM/MZ/CM

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