Analytical Chemistry

Internationally Recognised Verification Laboratory for Chemical Warfare Agents

We operate an accredited testing laboratory for the analysis of samples for the presence of chemical warfare agents (CWA) and related chemicals. In cooperation with our national and international partners, we develop methods for the preparation and analysis of environmental, material and biomedical samples. For that purpose, we use state-of-the-art instrumentation and methodology for the isolation and identification of chemical warfare agents, their precursors, degradation products and metabolites and other toxic chemicals. We develop our expertise continuously through research activities and our competence is regularly tested through international Proficiency Tests.

We support the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and we actively contribute to OPCW working groups. As an OPCW Designated Laboratory, we analyse authentic samples from OPCW inspections. In addition, we support the OPCW Laboratory in Proficiency Testing and we significantly contribute to the expansion of the OPCW Central Analytical Database (OCAD), which is the reference library for OPCW on-site analysis.

We operate the national CWA verification laboratory for the protection of the Swiss population. On behalf of federal and cantonal authorities, we analyse samples for the presence of CWA and other toxic chemicals. In case of incidents with CWA, we analyse samples from the Emergency Response Team for CWA incidents (C-EEVBS) and advise the First Responders, such as the police and the fire brigades, as well as the medical services and the hospitals. We are responsible for the training of experts from the Swiss Army's NBC Defense Laboratory in CWA verification analysis, who support us in case of major incidents on request.

Our neutrality and expertise is recognised and appreciated. We collaborate with international organisations (e.g. UN, OPCW, ICRC). We advise and support them in questions related to CWA and we train foreign interns in verification analysis. We participate in international missions in connection with alleged use of CWA and we analyse samples from all over the world since 1984.

Further Information

Internationally recognised verification laboratory for chemical warfare agents(PDF, 1.78 MB)
Analysis of samples from all over the world (PDF, 3.7 MB)
Technology and Methodology for CWA Verification Analysis (PDF, 4.15 MB)

Head:

Dr. Peter Siegenthaler

Staff:

Thomas Clare
Dr. Jean-Claude Dutoit
Dr. Urs Meier
Dr. Martin Schaer
Andreas Schorer


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