Two of Institute of Applied Sciences staff were invited to attend an international workshop on Capacity building for POPs Analysis in developing Countries organised by UNEP/ chemicals recently. Mr. Usaia Dolodolotawake (Laboratory manager) and Mr. Vincent Vishant Lal (research assistant) attended the workshop which was held at the Institute for Environmental Studies at the Free University of Amsterdam.
This was followed by an intensive hands-on laboratory component where the participants were demonstrated new analytical skills and use of various instruments required for analysis of persistent organic pollutants. The use of computer software for better data analysis, for example, using overlapping technique to confirm interference effects, the use of new chromatography columns that helps to reduce the matrix effects of samples, and better glassware cleaning techniques were some of the interesting lessons learnt.
Following the training visit by UNEP “expert group” and hands-on training in the Amsterdam laboratory, there has been a significant improvement in the quality of data on POPs compounds being produced at the IAS laboratory. The Institute of Applied Sciences was chosen by UNEP / Chemicals as a reference laboratory for the South Pacific Region to be established for POPs analysis, research on POPs at IAS includes screening of food products, water, air, sediment and soil.