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Chemical Analysis of Dumped Chemical Warfare Agents During the MODUM Project

  • Martin SöderströmEmail author
  • Anders Östin
  • Johanna Qvarnström
  • Roger Magnusson
  • Jenny Rattfelt-Nyholm
  • Merike Vaher
  • Piia Jõul
  • Heidi Lees
  • Mihkel Kaljurand
  • Marta Szubska
  • Paula Vanninen
  • Jacek Bełdowski
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)

Abstract

MODUM project continued the work on monitoring of the chemical weapons (CW) dumped in the Baltic Sea started in previous projects. As a new aspect, on board analysis methods – headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and capillary electrophoresis (CE) – were developed and tested in laboratory conditions and during cruises. The GC–MS method could be successfully applied on board to verify that collected sediment samples contained degradation products for sulfur mustard, one of the major chemical warfare agents dumped in Baltic Sea. This method could in future project be used during cruises to redirect sample collection in order to make most of the available ship time. Other part of the analysis task during MODUM project was the work done at the reach back laboratories. These analyses were done to both verify the results obtain on board and to fully identify the chemicals related to the sea-dumped CW agents. Reach back analysis of CW-related chemicals were done on sediment samples collected around a wreck in Bornholm Deep (same samples as analyzed on board) and on monitoring samples collected in Bornholm, Gotland and Gdańsk Deeps. The samples from Bornholm and Gotland Deeps are in line with previous findings. Samples from Gdańsk Deep are in line with previous findings that this area has been used as a dump site. Additionally, α-chloroacetophenone (CN) was found in the area for the first time. In addition to the analysis of CW-related chemicals, a new method was developed for measurement for arsenic concentrations in sediment samples. A method was also developed for arsenic speciation, which could help in estimation of the source of arsenic in the sediments.

Abbreviations

AED

atomic emission detector

AMDIS

Automatic Mass spectral Deconvolution and Identification Software

APCI

atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation

Asb

arsenobetaine

BGE

background electrolyte

BPA

butylphosphonic acid

C4D

capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detector

CBRN

chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear

CE

capillary electrophoresis

CHEMSEA

Chemical Munitions Search and Assessment, an EU-funded project

CW

chemical warfare

CWA

chemical warfare agent

CWC

Chemical Weapons Convention

DMA

dimethylarsine

EDEA

ethyldiethanolamine

EEZ

extended economic zone

EMPA

ethyl methylphosphonate

ESI

electrospray ionization

FOI

Swedish Defence Research Agency, Umeå, Sweden

GC

gas chromatography

GC–MS

gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

GC–MS/MS

gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

HD

sulphur mustard

HRMS

high resolution mass spectrometry

ICP-MS

inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

IOPAS

Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

L

Lewisite

LC–HRMS

liquid chromatography-high mass spectrometry

LOD

limit of detection

MDEA

methyldiethanolamine

MMA

monomethylarsine

MODUM

Towards the Monitoring of Dumped Munitions Threat, a NATO-funded project

MPA

methylphosphonic acid

MS

mass spectrometry

MUT

Military University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland

PMPA

propyl methylphosphonate

PPA

propylphosphonic acid

ppb

part-per-billion (e.g. μg/kg)

PrSH

propane-1-thiol

SIM

selected ion monitoring

SRM

selected reaction monitoring

TDG

thiodiglycol

TDGO

thiodiglycol sulfoxide

TDGOO

thiodiglycol sulfone

TEA

triethanolamine

TTÜ

Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia

UHPLC

ultra-high performance liquid chromatography

VERIFIN

Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention, University of Helsinki, Finland

WWI

First World War

WWII

Second World War

XRF

X-ray fluorescence spectrometry

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Söderström
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anders Östin
    • 2
  • Johanna Qvarnström
    • 2
  • Roger Magnusson
    • 2
  • Jenny Rattfelt-Nyholm
    • 2
  • Merike Vaher
    • 3
  • Piia Jõul
    • 3
  • Heidi Lees
    • 3
  • Mihkel Kaljurand
    • 3
  • Marta Szubska
    • 4
  • Paula Vanninen
    • 1
  • Jacek Bełdowski
    • 4
  1. 1.Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons ConventionUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Swedish Defence Research AgencyUmeåSweden
  3. 3.Tallinn University of TechnologyTallinEstonia
  4. 4.Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of SciencesSopotPoland

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