University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

An Abbreviated Method for the Quality Control of Pollen Counters

Smith, Matt ORCID:, Oteros, J., Schmidt-Weber, C. and Buters, J.T.M. (2019) An Abbreviated Method for the Quality Control of Pollen Counters. Grana, 58 (3). pp. 185-190. ISSN 0017-3134

ePIN QC_short comm_V2 (002).pdf

Download (170kB) | Preview
Fig 1 Betula pollen QC.pdf

Download (133kB) | Preview
Fig 2 Poaceae pollen QC.pdf

Download (129kB) | Preview
Table 1 Sites.pdf

Download (161kB) | Preview


We present an abbreviated method for conducting large scale quality control (QC) exercises over limited time periods, which was used for examining the proficiency of technicians involved in the electronic Pollen Information Network (ePIN). The goal was for technicians to have their analysis skills evaluated at least twice: (1) by having at least one of their slides successfully checked by other counters in the ePIN network and (2) by successfully examining at least one additional slide from other sites. Success was judged as a relative difference (RDif %) ≤ 30% between the two daily average pollen concentrations. A total of 21 sites participated in the ePIN QC exercise. All of the results for total pollen had RDif % < 30%. Only five results had RDif > 30%, three for Betula and two for Poaceae pollen. Of these, three were slides containing < 40 pollen/m3 daily average and two were for sites that had microscopes with small fields of view and examined < 10% of the slide surface. More than 80% of the participants had at least two slides successfully checked by someone else in the network, and all of the participants had one slide successfully examined. The latter is comparable to a traditional ring test where only one slide is sent to participating sites. The method described here enabled a large number of technicians to be examined in a short period of time and represents a viable alternative to other approaches that can take many months to complete.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text of the published version via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: aerobiology, Betula pollen, Poaceae pollen, quality assurance, quality control
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Matt Smith
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2019 13:29
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2020 04:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Worcester Research and Publications is powered by EPrints 3 which is developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. More information and software credits.