HazMat: An App For That

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last week demonstrated a cellphone that can detect life-threatening chemical exposures.

The device works using sensor technology made very small — but effective enough to detect, say, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

I was walking with my sister recently alongside her residence in Exeter, New Hampshire.  Suddenly, we thought we smelled propane.  We sniffed in widening circles for a while — not long enough to be taken away, but long enough to look silly and realize we had imagined it.

Or had we?  It’s times like those where a device is nice, or an app for your cell phone, that could solve the problem and eliminate doubt.  Such an instant detection device would curb danger to ones you care about — or ones you are are tasked with rescuing, as with a Fire or Rescue team.  In fact, Fire Chief magazine did a nice write-up about this new device.

And with that, we welcome this new device, the DHS “Cell-All,” as it’s called.  “Cell-All” is a play on the words, “Tell-All,” for those who didn’t get it at first, like me.

A spokesperson for the device said, “Cell-All detects and alerts individuals and public-safety authorities to the release of specific toxic chemicals into the environment, putting environmental threat detection within reach of anyone who has a cell phone.”

Stephen Dennis, Cell-All’s program manager, envisions a chemical sensor in every cell phone in every pocket, purse, or belt holster.

With over 85,000 unique chemicals flying around the world now in various forms and interactions, this gadget stands to revolutionize HazMat safety, and offers another level of security for those of us with propane heat and active imaginations.

Read more here.