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National Cadmium Management Committee Finishes

The National Cadmium Management Committee (NCMC) ceased to operate as of December 2006 having achieved essentially all of its initial aims and having achieved others that arose during its five year term. Despite the Committee no longer operating this web-site will be maintained with periodic updates until July 2011.  Read the NCMC Workshop outcomes.

Contaminants in Fertiliser Project

The Fertilizer Working Group (FWG), which reports to the Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC), in collaboration with the Industrial Residues Working Group (IRWG) which reports to Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPH&C) have established a project to examine the issue of Contaminants in Fertilizers. This project aims to develop:

  • A list of chemicals which should not be present in fertilizers
  • A list of chemicals which can be present in fertilizers providing they are below acceptable concentrations
  • The acceptable concentrations of chemicals permitted in fertilizers.

This project is being undertaken in three separate stages. The first stage a scoping study has been undertaken by the Centre for Environmental Contaminant Research in CSIRO. A copy of this Scoping Study is available for download (PDF, 733 kB).

Stage II Is a preliminary hazard screening and assessment of environmental and agricultural impacts and benefits of applying the identified potential contaminants and sources of contaminants to agricultural land.

Stage III This will be a more detailed assessment using a combination of existing criteria and, where necessary, risk assessment from first principles to determine recommended maximum concentrations and/or loadings of substances identified as presenting a high potential risk.

Tenders for Stage II will close 31 January, 2007.

Laboratories Proficient in the Analysis of Cd in Plant Samples

During 2004 ASPAC decided to change the structure of the ILPPP. In the new program laboratories can be declared proficient in analyzing cadmium in both soil and plant samples. The soil and plant programs each consist of three sets of samples to be analysed annually with four samples per set. The results of the ILPP will shortly be made available by ASPAC. As soon as this is done a hyperlink from the NCMC website to the appropriate section of the ASPAC website will be made.

What should you do in the meantime?

You should use the list of proficient laboratories set out below to make your selection and ask them laboratory whether they have currently deemed to be proficient in the analysis of Cd in plant tissue by ASPAC. If they are not then there results may not be reliable.

Listing and Contact Details For ASPAC Certified Plant Cadmium Proficient Laboratories, 2002

The National Cadmium Management Committee (NCMC) is often asked to recommend a laboratory that can proficiently determine cadmium (Cd) concentrations in plants. In response, the NCMC wrote to the 31 laboratories that participated in the annual Inter-laboratory Plant Proficiency Program conducted in 2002 by the Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council Inc (ASPAC; Johnstone et al 2002). This program assessed laboratory performance for a range of tests, including plant Cd. The laboratories were asked that, if they had elected to include Cd in their test suite, and if they had gained proficiency for that test, would they agree to their contact details being placed on the NCMC website.

The listing of Cd proficient laboratories (2002) is provided in the table below. These laboratories were assessed by ASPAC to be proficient in the measurement of total cadmium in a selection of oven-dry plant materials. The proficiency certification remains until superseded by ASPAC’s next Inter-laboratory Plant Proficiency Program.

The NCMC acknowledges that not all laboratories that may be competent in the analysis of total Cd in plant material participated in the ASPAC Inter-laboratory Proficiency Programs. Potential clients and users of laboratories may wish to also check if the laboratory is NATA accredited for total Cd analysis in plant samples.

Finally, ASPAC now has on its public web site ( an informative article entitled “How Can I Be Sure That The Lab Is Giving Me The Right Results?” While not targeted specifically at Cd analysis, the advice presented in this article warrants serious consideration.

Johnstone P., Shelley B., Kitching M. (2002). Plant Proficiency Program Report 2002. (Australian Soil and Plant Analysis Council: State Chemistry Laboratory, , Agriculture Victoria, Department of Natural Resources and Ebvironment,Werribee, Victoria.) ISSN1446 - 3598 Vol12 No.1

List of cadmium proficient laboratories in 2002

Laboratory contact


Lyndon Palmer 08 8303 7391
Teresa Fowles
ph. no. 08 8303 7391

Waite Analytical Services, School of Agriculture and Wine, University of Adelaide, PMB 1, GLEN OSMOND SA 5064

Michael Smirk
ph. no. 08 6488 7133

University of Western Australia, School of Earth and Geographical Sciences (Soil Science Discipline), 35 Stirling Highway, CRAWLEY WA 6009

Giang Nugyen
ph. no. 02 9334 0935

Sydney Water Nutrient Laboratory, Analytical and Field Services, Asset Management Division, 51 Hermitage Road, WEST RYDE NSW 2114

Graham Lancaster
ph. no. 02 6620 3678

Norsearch – Environmental Analysis Laboratory, Military Road, EAST LISMORE NSW 2480

Craig Hunt
ph. no. 02 66261200

Environmental Laboratory, Wollongbar Agricultural Institute, NSW Agriculture, 1243 Bruxner Highway, WOLLONGBAR NSW 2477

Dave Lyons
ph. no. 07 3896 9477

Queensland Dept. Natural Resources and Mines, Natural Resource Sciences Laboratory, Block B 80 Meiers Road, INDOOROOPILLY QLD 4068

Ted Mikhail 03 9701 6007

SWEP Pty Ltd. Analytical Laboratories, 45-47/ 174 Bridge Road, KEYSBOROUGH VIC 3173

George Croatto
ph. no. 03 9742 8749.

Department of Primary Industries State Chemistry Laboratory, Inorganic Chemistry Unit, 621 Sneydes Road, WERRIBEE VIC 3030

Glen Rangott
ph. no. 07 3391 7558

Symbio Laboratories
47 Manilla Street, EAST BRISBANE, QLD 4169 or
PO Box 7561, EAST BRISBANE, QLD 4169

Peter McCafferty
ph. no. 08 9222 3047

State Chemistry Centre (WA)
125 Hay Street, EAST PERTH WA 6004

13 June, 2014
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