Detection limit parameters such as the minimum detectable concentration have been widely discussed in the literature for more than 30 y. Misunderstanding and misapplication of these parameters continue to be widespread and, indeed, even encoded into computer programs, especially those developed in recent years for use with PC-based analyzer boards. This brief review of the principal concepts related to the most common types of detection limits provides guidance for correctly using these parameters. In particular, several myths concerning issues such as the "sample-specific minimum detectable concentration" and the "unreliability" of measurements made below this concentration are discussed.
(C)1992Health Physics Society