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Applying the Concept of Effective Data to Environmental Analyses for Contaminated Sites

Analytical chemistry methods can be classified as 'definitive methods' or 'screening methods.' Environmental decision-makers frequently assume that definitive analytical methods generate 'definitive data,' while screening methods generate 'screening data.' This is misleading. Adopting the concept of 'effective data' could promote cost-savings while ensuring more reliable site decisions, because it recognizes that the information value of data depends on the interaction between sampling design, analytical design, and the intended use of the data.

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