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In the laboratory world, preparation, as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency via its SEDD Specification Version 5.2, applies to all processing done to an aliquot prior to instrumental analysis. The EPA adds that "the details might involve many steps (e.g., taking an aliquot, extraction, and cleanup). Most methods have a primary processing step, such as chemical extraction or separation that are part of the analysis method. These steps could also be described in a separate method(s)."[1]


  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (March 2019). "Appendix A. Data Element Dictionary (DED)" (PDF). SEDD Specification Version 5.2. Retrieved 22 September 2022.