Current methods used around the Baltic Sea for analysis of CWA samples vary greatly, making it difficult to compare results across investigations. In order to facilitate international collaboration and improve analytical capacity of the Baltic Sea Region in the event of a transboundary CWA leakage, CHEMSEA optimised methods for detection of munitions and analytical procedures for detection and quantification of CWA and CWA degradation products. CHEMSEA also conducted an inter-calibration study concerning various applied and recommended methodologies.
Prior to sediment sampling and analysis CHEMSEA partners reviewed analytical screening methods and agreed on relevant CWA related compounds to identify the presence of the active agent or degradation, hydrolysis or biological markers that could demonstrate a history of presence and/or exposure to CWA related material. The choice of analytical methods and suitable marker chemicals was based on a CHEMSEA methodological review and VERIFIN experience in the analysis of samples taken during the MERCW project in the Bornholm Deep.
As the analysis of both organic chemicals and heavy metals in the CHEMSEA project was divided between different laboratories it was necessary to verify that the results obtained by these laboratories would be comparable. Therefore, a transnational inter-calibration study was organised to test the methods selected and the performance of the laboratories for analysis of the selected sea dumped CW and/or their degradation products as well as for arsenic. The inter-calibration study was coordinated by VERIFIN.
Samples were sent to four other partners: IOPAN, MUT, FOI and LEPA. MUT, FOI and VERIFIN analysed the samples for organic CW and/or their degradation products and IOPAN, MUT and LEPA analysed the samples for organic and total arsenic. The results of the inter-calibration study were satisfactory and confirmed that all five partners could produce reliable results.
More information can be found in the following project reports: