Cerex Monitoring Solutions is pleased to announce having delivered 15 Micro Hound multi-gas analyzers to the State of Oregon. Oregon acquired the Micro Hound multi-gas analyzers following the conclusion of a detailed study of air toxics released during structure fires and evaluation of the technologies available to first responders to monitor hazardous gases. The Cerex Micro Hound analyzers were chosen as the best analyzer for the first response application. They have been distributed to Hazmat Emergency Response Teams statewide to allow the first response teams access to real time measurement data for improved decision making.
The study provides a wealth of real world data regarding the performance and functionality of a variety of commercially available portable multi-gas analyzers, sensors and samplers that were evaluated. Electrochemical cell, PID/FID, UVDOAS, FTIR and Gas Chromatography technologies were represented and evaluated. These instruments range in cost from $500.00 USD to $220,000.00 USD, and measurement data is compared head to head.
Traditional criteria allowed firefighters to remove self-contained breathing equipment when Carbon Monoxide gas concentrations fell below a 35 PPM threshold. The study concluded that other toxic gases may persist in concentrations up to or in excess of NIOSH IDLH or REL-ST standards as well as OSHA STELs or PEL-TWA standards. It also demonstrated that Carbon Monoxide concentration is not a reliable indicator of the presence of other toxicants. Among these measured compounds were: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Glutaraldehyde, Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone, and Mercury.
Given the mission requirements, Cerex is proud that the Micro Hound multi-gas analyzer was selected to be the best technology for the first response application. We are also appreciative of the feedback received from all of the Oregon Firefighters. Many of the current Hound series features came as their suggestions. Ease of use, portability, ruggedness, sensitivity, and the ability to detect gases such as Ammonia, Benzene, Chlorine, Ethyl-benzene, Formaldehyde, Mercury, Sulfur Dioxide, Toluene and m, o and p-Xylenes at low PPB concentrations were all very important factors.
Standard features for the CEREX Micro Hound include integrated Wi-Fi, a full color touch screen interface, and options include a cellular broadband modem that provides access to the analyzer from anywhere in the world via Internet, email and text alerts, audible alarms, as well as cameras providing live visual and audio broadcast of the deployment zone.
Commissioned by the STATE OF OREGON GOVERNOR’S FIRE SERVICE POLICY COUNCIL AND TUALATIN VALLEY FIRE & RESCUE
“A Study on Chemicals found in the Overhaul Phase of Structure Fires using Advanced Portable Air Monitoring available for Chemical Speciation”
Deric C. Weiss and Jeff T. Miller
During the overhaul phase of a structure fire, firefighters commonly doff their self contained breathing apparatus SCBA protection for easier working conditions and traditionally rely upon carbon monoxide (CO) detection as the determinate for this action. A CO level of below 35 ppm has traditionally been the acceptable limit for firefighters to wear this lesser level of respiratory protection. Removal of respiratory protection during fire overhaul activities or in the general area can expose firefighters and fire investigators to an unknown variety of toxic chemicals and particulates. Typical structure fires involve high temperature destruction of many types of plastics, foams, various species of wood, fabrics and other materials. Gases and particulates liberated from these burning materials often contain toxic, reactive and otherwise unhealthy chemicals that are both inhalation hazards and skin absorptive hazards. This study focused on the direct reading of gases present during overhaul, measurement of these gases over an extended period of time in comparison to CO, and on the compilation of data to support and continue the understanding of post-fire event airborne hazards to firefighters and fire investigators.