Dräger Introduces New Technology to Protect Against Deadly ‘Toxic Twins’

April 6, 2018
New technology measures the combined effect of CO and HCN to advance firefighter safety.

Houston – Dräger announced a new patented ‘toxic twins’ alarm function on its X-am 5000 multi-gas monitor that measures CO and HCN against a combined threshold. The company has also published a whitepaper detailing the effects of the ‘toxic twins.’

In structural fires, smoke inhalation causes eight times as many deaths as burns because of toxic gases. Two of the most deadly are carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) – known as ‘toxic twins.’ Together, they create a lethal chemical asphyxiant that can put firefighters and victims into cardiac arrest at the time of the fire and cause cancer decades later.

Today’s fires burn hotter and faster than in decades past because of the prevalence of synthetics in building materials and furnishings, which speeds the release of toxic gases. While the fire service has known about carbon monoxide for years, hydrogen cyanide – which can be up to 35 times more toxic than carbon monoxide – is a relatively new revelation.

“We’re pleased that we can now offer the fire service a monitor that can protect firefighters against the deadly combination of gases known as the toxic twins,” said John Wilson, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing, Safety Solutions, Dräger North America. “We’ve also published a whitepaper that outlines the physical effects of exposure to increasing amounts of CO and HCN, the symptoms of HCN poisoning, and steps firefighters can take to protect themselves.”

New technology targets the toxic twins

Because the combination of CO and HCN is exponentially more harmful than exposure to these agents individually, measuring each gas against its single alarm threshold is not ideal for overhaul operation.

Dräger’s toxic twins alarm function enables the Dräger X-am 5000 multi-gas detector to measure CO and HCN against a combined threshold. This patented technology increases firefighter safety during overhaul based on scientific research conducted in the United States.

Developed for personal monitoring applications, the Dräger X-am 5000 is a 1- to 5-gas detector that reliably measures combustible gases and vapors, as well as O2 and harmful concentrations of toxic gases, organic vapors, odorant and amine.

To access the toxic twins whitepaper, click here.

For more information about the X-am 5000 gas detector, go to http://www.draeger.com/toxictwins.

Dräger. Technology for Life

Dräger is an international leader in the fields of medical and safety technology. Our products protect, support, and save lives. Founded in 1889, Dräger generated revenues of around EUR 2.6 billion in 2017. The Dräger Group is currently present in over 190 countries and has more than 13,000 employees worldwide. Please visit www.draeger.com for more information.

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