Air Monitoring with Direct Reading Instruments

Direct reading instruments for monitoring air contaminants are becoming more common and their use in occupational hygiene is becoming more widespread. While safety instruments such as those for detection of flammable atmospheres have been used for many years, more sophisticated and more versatile instruments are now widely used for detecting both specific toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and classes of compounds such as aromatic solvents. Other instruments can detect and quantify aerosol contaminants such as dusts and fumes. These instruments employ a variety of different detection principles to identify and quantify specific contaminants. In order to determine which instrument will meet a specific need requires that we understand the basis of operation of these instruments.  Generally these devices must be both highly sensitive and highly selective to measure a specific contaminant in an atmosphere that usually will contain other contaminants as well.

ALARA is in the process of developing a new practical course focused on the use of such “real-time” instruments in occupational hygiene.  We are interested in comments from our site visitors about their use of and interest in direct reading instruments to determine if there is sufficient interest to merit development of this course. If you would be interested in taking such a course or if you have views on the potential value of such a course, we would like to hear from you. You can use the contact us form here to give us your comments.

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