Case Scenario: ChemProX as a CBRN Detector

Multi-threat Detection

A Narrative on How to Utilize the Multiple Detection Capabilities of ChemProX CBRN Kit

The hazardous material – hazmat – team got a call reporting that a freight train transporting industry material had de-railed. Based on the gathered information and reports, it was confirmed that the train was transporting dangerous chemical and radiological material away from the industrial area, for proper handling and disposal. It was reported that some of the containers on the train had been damaged, and visible vapor / smoke was seen coming out from one of the containers.

CBRN Detection in One Compact Package. Hazmat team approaching a freight train.

A Hazmat team approaching a freight train wagon container for detecting a possible chemical threat.

At that moment, there was no further information gathered on the possibility of radioactive material leak. However, as radiation threats are more or less invisible, the hazardous material team chose to equip the ChemProX chemical detectors with Radiation Detector Module, a personal dosimeter that can be integrated directly to the user interface of ChemProX.

Upon arrival at the scene, the hazmat team confirmed that something was evaporating from the damaged containers. At that point it was not a top priority to pinpoint the actual source for the leaking chemical, as the chemical was already vastly evaporating. The team quickly established evacuation protocols and isolated the surroundings of the accident site.

Simultaneously, the gathered information revealed the train was carrying Chlorine. Each team member equipped with ChemProX was able to check general characteristics, required isolation / protection areas etc. relevant information regarding Chlorine from in built-in agent database of ChemProX.

Since the Chlorine gas was spreading vastly, the priority – along with stopping the spreading – was to understand where and how far the gas cloud had spread. Utilizing the built-in wireless communications of ChemProX, the team established a “light” monitoring network by placing the detectors around the accident area. Some of the detectors were mounted on Unmanned Air Vehicles while others were used as stationary monitoring units. Establishing the monitoring network allowed the hazmat team to form the “big picture” of the incident, and focus their efforts on the primary task – saving lives.

Example of “light” monitoring network, including Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and stationary monitoring units in a train derailment incident - CBRN Detection in One Compact Package.

Example of “light” monitoring network, including Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and stationary monitoring units in a train derailment incident. ChemProX CBRN Kit enables CBRN detection in one compact package.

While evacuation protocols were in progress, some of the team members focused on stopping the chemical spread from the damaged containers. Based on the gathered data, the train was also carrying radioactive material. While visual observations indicated no spreading of radioactive material, the team confirmed that the train was carrying class 7 goods.

Still, having an integrated detector for radiation, it was still essential for detecting possible invisible radiation threats in the accident hot zone. Based on the detection results, there was no imminent radioactive threat present, which gave the first responders confidence to focus on isolating the leaking chemical containers.

ChemProX, One Device Broad Xperience

The Benefits of Simultaneous Chemical & Radiation Detection

The nature of this case showcases how important it is to be prepared for multiple types of threats – especially when every hazard isn’t always obvious or clearly visible. This can be possibel when CBRN detection in one compact package is at hand. To sum up, here are the benefits that simultaneous chemical and radiological detection can offer:

  • Increased safety – It should never be assumed all threats are visible. Ensuring safety from invisible radiological threats ensures that the first responders can focus their efforts on eliminating the chemical threat.
  • Simplicity – No need to carry two different and independent devices that need to be operated separately.
  • Data integrity – Measurement data available in a single, easy to read format / interface.
  • Improved situational awareness – Constantly shared real-time data quickens informed decision making and helps getting control of the situation.
  • Diversity / scalability – Multipurpose detector that is easily scalable based on the nature of the accident. Communication capabilities enable the versatile use either as a personal protection detector or as a part of a stationary or mobile chemical monitor.

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The views and opinions expressed in Bertin Environics Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Environics Oy. Any content provided by the authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, neither they serve as a scientific statement.


Mika Saarinen

Product Manager Handheld Chemical Detection

I am Mika, a relatively new face in the CBRN business and eagerly learning new things every day. I have grown my expertise especially in the handheld chemical detection segment bringing fresh thoughts and insights to the subject.

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