NIOSH Requests Recommendations for Sensor Technology in Emergency Response
NIOSH requests information to increase the value of the NIOSH Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies (NCDRST), a virtual center that was established in 2014 to coordinate agency research and develop recommendations in the area of exposure assessment devices. The agency will use the information to assess the use of existing and future direct-reading sensor technologies in emergency response. “Emergency responders are increasingly relying on direct-reading instruments and other sensor technologies to rapidly evaluate potentially life-threatening hazards and exposures,” the Federal Register notice reads. “Recommendations to support the proper selection, use, validation, calibration and interpretation of these technologies are lacking.” NIOSH seeks input related to sensors that have the most immediate impact on emergency response; available guidance and standards for performance characteristics and validation; training available to emergency responders; and technical challenges in sensor manufacturing. The agency seeks information on the advantages of newer-generation sensors or direct-reading devices for emergency response, and requests feedback on which standards need to be developed—for performance or manufacturing—to meet industry and emergency responder expectations for emerging sensor technologies. The request for information also includes questions regarding the current primary gaps in sensor functionality for emergency response efforts and unique emergency response issues that might be expected for sensor manufacturing. NCDRST also develops training protocols and guidance documents relevant to direct-reading methods and sensors, and establishes partnerships to collaborate in its activities. Visit the NIOSH website for more information. Comments will be accepted until March 21. For more information, see the Federal Register notice.