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Real-Time Particulate Monitoring Detecting Respiratory Threats for First Responders: Workshop Proceedings



Rodney A. Bryant, Kathryn M. Butler, R Vettori, P Greenberg


This workshop brought together members of the fire service, particulate detector manufacturers, public health professionals, airborne particulate researchers, and standards organizations to discuss the need for better technology to assess the level of respiratory protection that is required for environments encountered by first responders. The program included invited speakers who presented information on characterization of respiratory threats during fire overhaul and the need for respiratory protection, performance needs and priorities for the fire service application, and state-of-the-art and recent developments in particulate detection. After the presentations, attendees divided into three breakout sessions, and each group responded to a predetermined set of questions related to the following topics: Research Needs, Performance Criteria, Standards, and Technological Advances. The consensus of the workshop participants was that future research is needed to better understand the health effects of particulates on firefighters, to better characterize the particulates present during overhaul, and to better characterize the response of particulate detectors to the overhaul environment. Defining performance criteria to address first responder needs regarding data telemetry and logging, instrument operation and data interpretation, and the physical performance of the instrument were also areas of consensus. The group also felt that developing standards for the physical performance of the instrument was important and that data telemetry and logging would benefit from developing technology.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1051
Report Number


fire fighting, fire overhaul, first responder, particulate detector, respiratory protection


Bryant, R. , Butler, K. , Vettori, R. and Greenberg, P. (2007), Real-Time Particulate Monitoring Detecting Respiratory Threats for First Responders: Workshop Proceedings, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created December 1, 2007, Updated November 10, 2018