Enhancing capability of PH labs in determining toxic elements in milkfish through PT scheme

Milkfish or bangus (Chanos chanos) is a regular offering in most Filipino dining tables as it is native in our waters, making it one of the major species produced in the Philippine aquaculture fisheries. It may contain elevated levels of some inorganic toxic elements due to environmental contaminations caused by domestic and industrial wastes.

Monitoring of these toxic elements are done by chemical testing laboratories. Hence, reliable and accurate measurements is vital in ensuring safety for public consumption and preventing economic loss for producers.

To evaluate the competence of local testing laboratories in the Philippines, Proficiency Testing (PT) schemes for Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic (As), and Mercury (Hg) in fish will be implemented under the project, “Capability Enhancement of Local Laboratories in the Determination of Inorganic Toxic Elements in Aquacultured Milkfish through Proficiency Testing Scheme” funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

The Metrology in Chemistry (MiC) section of the National Metrology Laboratory (NML) of DOST-ITDI provides accuracy-based PT schemes to local testing laboratories and helps in establishing metrological traceability of chemical measurement results in the country.

A proficiency test item for toxic elements (Pb, Cd, As, Hg) in milkfish for the PT scheme will be developed and characterized using higher-order methods. The PT Scheme will be conducted in accordance with ISO/IEC 17043:2010, the standard for the general requirements for the competence of proficiency testing providers. Testing laboratories who want to evaluate the accuracy of their methods for the determination of toxic elements in fish and benchmark their results are encouraged to participate in upcoming PT schemes to be announced later.