Latin American and Caribbean Chemists Master Analytical Chemistry Skills

14 June 2016
Participants at the course on laboratory procedures and methods for the analysis of chemicals relevant to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Participants at the course on laboratory procedures and methods for the analysis of chemicals relevant to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Analytical chemists from Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) mastered their skills in laboratory procedures and methods for the analysis of chemicals relevant to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) during a course held from 23 May to 3 June in Madrid, Spain.

Fifteen analytical chemists from 12 GRULAC OPCW Member States attended a two-week course and learned about the theory and practice regarding sample preparation, use of advanced analytical techniques, interpretation of results, quality assurance in chemical analysis and maintenance of equipment. Moreover, the participants received information about the Convention’s provisions on peaceful uses of chemistry and OPCW’s capacity building programmes available to the chemists from its Member States.

The course was co-organised and hosted by the Laboratorio de Verificación de Armas Químicas (LAVEMA), a long-term Designated Laboratory of the OPCW.

One participant noted, “The lectures, the exercises and the procedures we have observed at LAVEMA have motivated many of us to improve analytical protocols in our laboratories.”

LAVEMA’s experts shared their experiences regarding participation in OPCW Proficiency Tests, with the aim to encourage GRULAC laboratories to take the Tests and join the OPCW Designated Laboratory network. Currently, 19 Designated Laboratories across the globe are certified to analyse samples collected during the Organisation’s inspections. To acquire Designated Laboratory status, institutions have to pass a Proficiency Test administered by the OPCW Laboratory based in the Netherlands.

The programme has been held at LAVEMA annually since 2010 and has been instrumental in enhancing the capacity of laboratories in GRULAC countries to analyse chemicals controlled under the CWC and to raise awareness about the OPCW’s Proficiency Tests among the professional community of analytical chemists.
 

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