Scientists Test Device to Monitor Toxic Gases During Firefighting

Scientists at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are testing a portable device to be worn by all times by firefighters to measure carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide.

WCVB reported ( on the testing, which is taking place at the Massachusetts State Fire Academy. The technology is designed to sound an alarm to warn firefighters when the air is dangerous, and collect information about what they are breathing as they work.

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“This is also going to create first time real time record in the future when firefighters are wearing this of what happens during every single fire,” said David Cyganski, WPI Dean of Engineers. Cyganski added that the devices survived the rigors of the firefighting and captured data indicating the moment by moment levels of toxins, data which has never been captured before under those circumstances. He says they had trouble with a couple of the devices because of the rough jostling they suffered, and are now making the mechanical changes needed for the next and final version.

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