Survey of Occupational and Environmental Exposure Monitoring Solutions

Mil Med. 2020 Jan 7;185(Suppl 1):396-403. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usz219.


Introduction: Service members are exposed to ambient airborne pollutants that have been linked to adverse health effects; however, capabilities to identify and characterize exposures across multi-domain operations are currently lacking. Occupational and environmental exposure monitoring is problematic because there is not a single simple solution, and current technological limitations suggest that simultaneous deployment of multiple devices may be the most effective near-term strategy.

Materials and methods: A broad industry scan of wearable, handheld, or portable occupational and environmental exposure monitoring devices was conducted, and subject matter experts were interviewed about the state of the field.

Results: This survey identified limitations including the inability to detect multiple analytes or analyte classes, size and weight, and detection limits, but multiple implementation strategies could be employed to meet a variety of combat needs. Device types could be layered, or specific device types could be deployed in acute toxic exposure environments such as dense urban population centers or subterranean spaces.

Conclusions: Evolving technologies and data management strategies may advance personal exposure monitoring in the future. These new devices and methods will likely supplant current technologies, while still using the programmatic and data framework established with early implementation of current commercial off the shelf devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.