Emerging chemical and explosive threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated. With easier access to information about materials and recipes used for manufacturing threats, criminals do not need to have a chemistry degree to impose danger. In addition, criminals have discovered ways to evade detection devices by adding impurities from crude synthetic processes, low-grade precursors, pigments or dyes. Now more than ever, incident response and mitigation teams risk their lives when facing suspicious packages and vehicles that may present an explosive threat.
It is therefore critical that all CBRNe response teams are equipped with the most current and advanced handheld chemical identification devices that enable rapid detection of dangerous and hazardous chemicals, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), improvised explosive devices (IED), home-made explosives (HME) and other credible threats on-scene in order to make life saving decisions.
Substances found in homes and businesses have the potential of creating a hazardous environment if not disposed of properly, especially when their containers break or leak. Because these substances can vary from common household chemicals - such as cleaning products or pesticides - to illegal drugs - such as fentanyl - first responders face the challenge of the unknown when entering a scene.
First responders must have easy access to as much equipment providing chemical identification as possible. Because the categories of what hazmat teams face range so widely, it’s important they have access to a tool that can quickly identify such a wide substance range - drugs, narcotics, explosives, toxic industrial chemicals (TICS), as well as common household items that act as precursors or cutting agents.
When faced with unknown, suspicious chemicals, first responders and CBRNe defense teams often need to look at the whole picture to determine the complexity of a potential threat. Rigaku provides a family of rugged chemical identification solutions based on 1064 nm Raman spectroscopy that are ideal for analyzing potentially hazardous samples – especially those that are “dirty” or colored. In addition, Raman analysis can often take place through packaging material, without disturbing the sample, which minimizes exposure to the operator – keeping the first responder and community safer.