Narrator:This is Science Today. There has never been an affordable way to accurately measure carbon monoxide in the field, so understanding the exposure risks has been limited. But a lightweight, carbon monoxide sensor and monitoring system developed by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory may change that. Michael Apte, of the Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division, says this sensor can be easily worn.
Apte: If this is an occupational environment, you take the cap off the device, you clip the device to the worker's lapel, you instruct them not to cover it with a jacket and then it just sits in the open air all day.
Narrator: Workers then record the amount of time they were exposed, recap the device and send it to a lab. But Apte says they're currently working on designs that can read exposure rates in real time.
Apte: So, instead of having a time averaged concentration, which is what we get now, it actually measures the sense of response every minute or every five minutes and you can get a profile then of the carbon monoxide concentration over time.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.