The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) here has received for detection over 50 samples that went into manufacture of chemical weapons from the United Nations-backed Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The samples in the form of soil, water and organic solvents were sent twice a year since 2008 when IICT attained the status of designated laboratory for off-site analysis of weapons, institute director M. Lakshmi Kantam and project leader R. Srinivas told a press conference on Monday in connection with the OPCW getting the Nobel peace prize for 2013. The OPCW head Hugh Gregg had thanked both of them and other team members shortly after the announcement of the award recently.
Dr. Lakshmi Kantam said the OPCW had been sending to IICT for analysis only blank samples collected from different parts of the world. Six samples which were coded to hide the identity of the substance and the originating country were sent by courier every six months as part of continuous evaluation of the lab. The report of the institute should be cent per cent accurate to be eligible to get three ‘A’ grades in succession and pass the proficiency test every year.
The institute has already got the proficiency certificate for this year, but it was yet to enter into a technical agreement with OPCW to get authentic on-site samples, they added. The IICT was one of the 21 labs in 17 countries that were designated by OPCW for off-site analysis of chemical weapons.
It had the technique to identify chemicals at parts per million (PPM) levels. A dedicated centre for analysis of chemical toxins was set up at the institute to attend to OPCW.