- Calamities with hazardous substances or unidentified substances
- Mobile Chemical-Biological Laboratory
is always ready to provide support during calamities involving
hazardous or unidentified substances. During the NSS, RIVM was ready
to support fire-fighters, regional health services (in Dutch: GHOR)
and the national police force (in Dutch: KLPD) with a field team
in The Hague. The specialist team was prepared with a mobile
laboratory and a radiological measurement vehicle to perform field
measurements and perhaps field sampling. Fixed measurement points
for radiation were placed at various sites in The Hague.
RIVM is able to measure hazardous substances in the air, calculate their dispersion and estimate the risks they hold on site. In the event of a suspicious object with increased radiation or with unidentified substances, RIVM will investigate the matter. The team on site sends the data collected back to RIVM in Bilthoven for further analysis. There an office team collects the data, interprets it, models and translates it into usable information for the authorities. If necessary, the sample can be transferred to one of the other expertise laboratories in the Netherlands that have been united toghether with RIVM, in a Laboratory Network
The MCBL is an advanced mobile laboratory. In the event of accidents and attacks this facility makes it possible to determine much faster whether chemical, biological or radioactive substances are involved, and what these substances are. Hence a quicker and more effective deployment of the national response organisation is possible. The mobile chemical-biological laboratory is built into a 19 metre long truck trailer. The unit is fitted with measurement and analysis techniques in a protected environment that meets the strictest safety rating, bar one. The MCBL is one of the most advanced mobile laboratory facilities of its kind in that it allows a sample of a suspected substance to be analysed simultaneously in two different analysis processes: biological and chemical. This results in a significant saving in time.