Spiez Laboratory aces chemical weapons test

The Spiez Laboratory is part of the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection. Keystone

The Swiss defence ministry’s Spiez Laboratory has earned the best score on a proficiency test administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

This content was published on September 17, 2015 - 16:01 and agencies

Of the five permanent designated OPCWExternal link labs in the world that have been certified to perform chemical weapons tests, the Spiez LaboratoryExternal link received the highest rating.

The two-week test, which began on April 21, required teams from each of the 19 participating institutes to correctly identify all chemicals relevant to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) by testing samples using various analytical techniques.

Established in 1997, the CWC prohibits the production or acquisition of certain chemical weapons.

The OPCW, based in The Hague, Netherlands, regularly administers proficiency tests to selected laboratories around the world. The goal is to maintain a small pool of top laboratories in case a substance needs to be tested urgently for the presence of compounds used in chemical warfare.

The mission of the Spiez Laboratory, located in the canton of Bern, is to develop protections for the Swiss population against biological, nuclear and chemical threats and disasters.

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