Request for information about Sensors for Emergency Response Activities

January 2016
NIOSH Docket Number 214, CDC-2016-0002

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requested information to enhance the value of the NIOSH Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies by reaching out to the stakeholder community for input regarding specific issues on the availability, capability, suitability, barriers, limitations, and opportunities for current or future direct reading devices and sensor technologies that are utilized for emergency response. This RFI was intended to inform the planning of a document to evaluate current and future sensor technologies used in emergency response.

The NIOSH Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies was created in May 2014 to coordinate the development of recommendations on the use of these 21st century technologies in occupational safety and health. The mission of the Center is to provide guidance on the selection of sensors and direct-reading monitors and guidance for validation, quality control and training. While direct reading monitors have been in use for quite some time, newer sensors are being developed which may enable them to be the primary tool for monitoring in the 21st century. Guidance on their fit-for-purpose and accuracy, are needed as future sensors are introduced for occupational safety and health use.

Within the overall scope of its activities, the Center plans to develop a document to evaluate current and future sensor technologies used in emergency response. Specifically, emergency responders are increasingly relying on direct-reading instruments and other sensor technologies to rapidly evaluate potentially life-threatening hazards and exposures. Recommendations to support the proper selection, use, validation, calibration and interpretation of these technologies are lacking. The use of new generations of sensors has increased exponentially in the past few years. While other Federal agencies and organizations have developed some recommendations on this topic, newer sensor technologies have not been thoroughly evaluated and guidance has not focused on interpretation of data or fit for purpose. Other factors that need to be considered are that multiple strategies of environmental sampling will be necessary in any response effort; and that an understanding of the advantages and limitations of newer direct-reading and sensor technologies is needed to select the appropriate strategies. Additionally, training for these new sensor technologies and environmental sampling strategies may be lacking.

To view the notice and related materials, visit http://www.regulations.govexternal icon and enter CDC-2016-0002 in the search field and click “Search.”

Page last reviewed: April 22, 2016