Emergency Situations And Potential Hazards Are Increasing
A day does not pass without some hazardous incident grabbing the national headlines. Industrial leaks, train wrecks, storms, explosions, and even possible acts of terrorism are just a few of the hazmat incidents that expose an estimated 45 million Americans to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), explosives, and hazardous chemicals that threaten our environment, and cause over 50,000 injuries and 125 deaths every year.1
Responding To Crisis
To meet these challenges, hazmat training for both the public and private sectors has evolved far beyond the site-management-and-control philosophy of the past. The rise of environmental health and safety hazmat programs, associations, international conferences, and ongoing professional development opportunities now provide global responders with professional and practical experience in dealing with a wide range of issues. From chemical fires and spills to organizing large-scale responses to manmade and natural disasters, today’s hazmat teams are more professional, knowledge driven, and better equipped to not merely contain a hazmat site, but leverage new technologies to determine what materials are onsite and how best to neutralize their risk.2
New Tools Of The Trade
In a crisis, the ability to quickly identify and analyze samples onsite is key to protecting businesses, lives, and the environment. First responders as well as non-scientists can now leverage technology, including portable analyzers such as the PerkinElmer Torion® T-9 GC/MS, to analyze air, water, and soil samples right in the field with near real-time results.3 Using the Custodian™ SPME syringe which accompanies the system, first responders can obtain a VOC sample at the push of a button and then simply inject that sample into the Torion T-9 for full analysis in 3–4 minutes.4
“The system is fast, reliable, and easy to use out in the field, whether it’s used for the rapid screening of chemicals—including environmental volatiles and semivolatiles, explosives, chemical warfare agents, and hazardous substances—or for food safety and industrial applications,” Lab Manager reported in 2016.
Weighing in at 32 lbs., the Torion T-9 is portable, rugged, easy-to-use analytical instrument that provides specific, accurate results. It can run on battery power for up to 2.5 hours and has a disposable helium gas cartridge that is capable of running up to 150 samples. That can result in significant time and cost savings. In the case of a hazmat emergency, improved response time can also potentially save lives. That is a pretty powerful 32-lb. statement from PerkinElmer—a global leader committed to innovating for a healthier world.
- Anon., “Identifying Hazardous Materials,” TrainingToday, Business & Legal Resources, accessed January 24, 2017.
- Anon., “Large-scale Response,” International Association Of Fire Chiefs, accessed January 24, 2017. See also, Ben Kew, “Report: Global Terrorism Rises 25% in 2016,” Breitbart, January 25, 2017, accessed January 25, 2017; Eastern Kentucky University, “Responding to HAZMAT Incidents: An Eight-Step Process,” EKUOnline, accessed January 25, 2017.
- PerkinElmer, “Fast Results Anytime, Anywhere,” PerkinElmer Product Note, accessed January 25, 2017.
- GC/MS Team, “Volatile Organic Compound Identification in Water by Portable SPME-GC/MS,” PerkinElmer Application Note, accessed January 25, 2017.
- PerkinElmer, “GC-MS On The Go,” Lab Manager, June 13, 2016, accessed January 25, 2017.