Wildfires Drive the Need, the New HD-1620 Monitor Delivers
02/28/2022   |  

Over the past several years, we have seen increasing occurrence, size, and loss due to wildfires, the effects of which are felt globally and create a hazard for both outdoor and indoor workers. To protect workers, California-OSHA proposed and promulgated a Rule on Wildfire Smoke that became effective July 29, 2019. The new rule requires employers to measure workplace PM2.5 concentration levels to determine if they meet a threshold—based on concentration or U.S Air Quality Index (AQI) —to invoke further requirements and controls. Since 2019, several other states have followed suit with their own wildfire smoke rule.   
Until now, available PM monitors were not designed for this specific requirement and even included particle counters, which are better suited for use in hospitals, clean rooms, or other areas considered “low dust.” Environmental Devices Corporation (EDC) had been working on a new hand-held PM monitor (the HD-1620) based on recommendations from the post-9/11 NIST Publication 1051 containing recommendations on transferring the technology of hand-held direct-reading particulate detectors used in other environmental monitoring applications to meet the needs of first responders, particularly in fire scene response and overhaul. EDC took these recommendations to heart in its emerging HD-1620 and included easy operation with a gloved hand, a large display, sufficient backlighting, light weight, ruggedness, and a Go/No Go to deploy rapidly in emergency response situations.  The HD-1620 was also designed for flexible use strapped around the hand, worn on a belt clip or turnout gear, or mounted to a tripod. But, what about the newly promulgated  Cal-OSHA Rule on Wildfire Smoke and others beginning to emerge? Could this new monitor built to aid first responders in many practical ways also help employers meet the new regulations? 
As other states began considering and adopting their own Wildfire Smoke Rule, EDC turned its expertise to designing a PM2.5 AQI version of the HD-1620 actually based on the U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI), making it the ideal tool for employers and emergency fire responders to meet the wildfire smoke regulations.  In addition, the HD-1620 complements the EPA PM-2.5 and PM-10 reference method for outdoor applications to help maintain compliance. Whether your safety needs involve disaster response, industrial/occupational hygiene surveys, indoor air quality investigations, source location monitoring, baseline trending, or engineering control evaluations, the HD-1620 delivers the solution.  

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