This is a legal term that refers to the ability to guarantee the identification and integrity of samples from collection through reporting of test results. For the purpose of litigation, it is necessary to prove the legal integrity of all samples and data as part of the chain of evidence. Therefore, it is necessary to have and accurate written history for the sample. This history should include sample bottle preparation, bottle possession, handling, and location of samples and data from the time of collection through reporting. This can be conducted by using chain-of-custody procedures.
“Since there is no way to know in advance which samples and data may be involved in litigation, you should always follow chain-of-custody procedures whenever samples and data are collected, transferred, stored, analyzed, or destroyed.”
Samples and data are considered to be in your custody when:
1. they are in your physical possession;
2. they are in your view, after being in your physical possession;
3. they are in your physical possession and then locked up so that tampering cannot occur; and
4. they are kept in a secured area, with access restricted to authorized personnel only.
The six steps in a chain-of-custody process include:
More to come
EPA - Training Program with Certificate of Completion