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IOCD/IUPAC Workshop on Environmental Analytical Chemistry for Regulatory Chemists and Laboratory Managers
Prague, Czech Republic, June 16-18, 1999

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Workshop Report

The Joint IOCD/IUPAC Working Party on Environmental Analytical Chemistry (JWP) was formed by the International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development (IOCD) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 1993 out of a realization that developing countries need scientists and technical personnel with internationally acceptable expertise and laboratories to perform environmental monitoring. These countries struggle with global trade restrictions, standards and environmental laws on monitoring of pollutants in Air, Food, Water and Solid Wastes, but face a severe lack of trained personnel to manage these tasks.

The JWP held this workshop in Prague, Czech Republic, on 16 -18 June 1999, with the aim of providing updated information on environmental analytical chemistry to analytical chemists and laboratory managers in the Central European countries who participate in official environmental monitoring.

In organizing this workshop, the JWP cooperated with the Czech Chemical Society, the Deputy Minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs of the Czech Republic, Karel Blaha, and Charles University.

A local Organizing Committee consisted of Dr. Pavel Draser, Vice President of the Czech Chemical Society, Professors Jiri Barek and Kerel Stulik of Charles University, and Dr. Frantiska Pavlikova of Merck & Company of Prague. This committee shared with the JWP the responsibility for inviting participants and speakers from Central Europe. The committee made contact with various chemical societies in Central Europe, while IOCD and IUPAC placed announcements of the workshop on their respective websites on the internet.

Working together, Dr. Draser and Prof. Baraek greatly facilitated the success of the workshop by: selecting participants; choosing the workshop site at Pruhonice among a group of hotels and a park; arranging for various workshop services, including obtaining 10 computer work stations and audio-visual equipment; and selecting the caterer and the meal menus. They also scheduled a concert by a Czech musical ensemble as a special treat for the workshop attendees.

The JWP was responsible for selecting the topics for presentation in the workshop and for selecting the appropriate lecturers. The topics fell within the following areas:

    1. Sampling procedures used in air, water, food and soil.
    2. Sample preparation procedures.
    3. International methods of analysis used to regulate air, water, soil and food.
    4. Managing a chemical laboratory and proficiency testing of chemists.
    5. Using computer networks to locate necessary chemical information and experts.

The workshop lecturers, 15 scientists in all, came from the Czech Republic (4); Slovakia (1); Belgium (1); and the USA (9). A total of 36 participants came from the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and the USA, 12 of these receiving travel grants from UNESCO.

The lecturers made use of handouts and videos. One half-day during the workshop was devoted to practical training on computers, using AOAC, EMMI and other materials. Furthermore, graduate students of Charles University prepared and exhibited posters in a special session devoted to this. Each Central European country represented at the workshop was provided a copy of the CD-ROM distributed by AOACI, containing the text of the March 1999 edition of the AOACI Book of Methods.

Just prior to the IOCD/IUPAC workshop, 13-15 June 1999, the American Chemical Society held a Central Europe-USA Workshop on Environmental Chemistry at the same site in Prague. IOCD gratefully acknowledges the assistance afforded to the IOCD/IUPAC Workshop by the ACS in agreeing to share some of lecturers.

Financial and "in kind" support of the workshop was provided by the following organizations: UNESCO; IUPAC; the AOAC International; the American Chemical Society (ACS); Huels AG of Germany; the government of Belgium; several agencies of the US government (EPA,FDA, and NSF); the US National Academy of Sciences; and Merck and SciTech of Prague.

A full report of the worskhop, listing the names of all lecturers and of all participants, as well as presenting the program with lecturers and their topics, can be obtained by writing to IOCD:

Dr. Walter R. Benson
c/o IOCD (USA Office)
PO Box 8156
Falls Church, VA 22041 USA

Page last modified 12 October 1999
Copyright © 1999 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

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