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DHS Leads the Way to Standards for Homeland Security



Laurie E. Locascio


In late April 2005, in response to a recently issued GAO report describing the urgent need for standards and validated methods related to biological incident response, Dr. Bert Coursey, head of the Standards Portfolio at DHS, charged NIST with the task of bringing together a team of experts to develop the first validated standard methods for this purpose. NIST partnered with AOAC International to create a task force composed of members representing CDC (NIOSH), FBI, DHS, Department of Defense (USAMRIID, Dugway Proving Grounds, Edegewood Chemical Biological Center), EPA, International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Guard, and the New York State Department of Health among many others. The standard and associated validation were put on the fast track, and the project was completed in a one-year time frame with the result being the first validated sample collection standard for suspected biological agents intended for use by first responders. The method was approved and adopted by both AOAC and ASTM- a unique partnership bringing competing private standards agencies together with NIST for this high visibility federal project.
DHS Leads the Way to Standards for Homeland Security


ASTM standard, biological agents, sample collection, swab sampling, visible powder


Locascio, L. (2008), DHS Leads the Way to Standards for Homeland Security, DHS Leads the Way to Standards for Homeland Security (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created October 16, 2008