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Handheld substance identifier for emergency services personnel

GE Security : 02 June, 2008  (New Product)
Chemical substances can now be identified using a hand held analyser to help police and fire personnel identify hazardous chemicals at incidents.
Handheld substance identifier for emergency services personnel
GE Security has announced its Homeland Protection business has introduced StreetLab Mobile, its next generation, point-and-shoot handheld unknown substance identification system. The Raman Spectroscopy-based device's chemical substance identification capability is expected to be complemented soon by the addition of biological substance identification capability. The biological identification upgrade is expected to make StreetLab Mobile the first combined chem-bio detector.

StreetLab Mobile is a portable, user-friendly handheld device that will be able to reliably identify a broad range of chemical and biological substances in liquid, powder and solid forms when later completed with the bio component. Using Raman Spectroscopy for data capture and analysis, StreetLab Mobile consumes little or no substance sample and makes it easy for the operator to understand and share results. The handheld unit uses extended-range wireless technology to allow first responders to quickly deliver accurate results from the field to tactical commanders at remote command centres.

"With the introduction of StreetLab Mobile, GE Security now offers the emergency services a handheld product that can deliver fast, accurate identification results straight from the hot zone for a growing library of substances,' said Dennis Cooke, president and CEO, GE Security's Homeland Protection business. "StreetLab Mobile was developed based on significant input from the emergency services and is designed to help them better protect their communities."

"The emergency services need convenient, easy-to-use, real time identification capabilities at hand on the scene when dealing with chemical and biological emergencies," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst David Fishering.
"StreetLab Mobile can be on the scene with first responders giving them the information they can use to assess, react and respond to an emergency in a matter of seconds."

The StreetLab Mobile chemical identification unit is available for customer orders now. These units will be easily upgradeable to dual mode versions when the biological substance detection capability becomes available later this year.
StreetLab Mobile is presently capable of identifying more than one thousand potentially dangerous chemicals, including toxic industrial substances such as formaldehyde and liquid and solid explosives, as well as the chemical components of common explosives. It can also identify chemicals such as Cresol and Benzene, exposure to which can have serious health consequences. It is expected that StreetLab Mobile will be able to recognise many biological substances when the bio component becomes available.

Utilising Raman Spectroscopy, StreetLab Mobile identifies substances based on their molecular structure. Raman technology works by analysing the interactions of light with the sample's chemical bonds, allowing a sample to be analysed without being consumed or destroyed in most cases.

StreetLab Mobile will be on display at the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Hazmat Response Team Conference in Hunt Valley from May 30th to 31st, 2008, GE Security booth 507.
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