- Hello Jeff: We shall see how harmless the "mysterious
gases" are during and after the release. My guess is that initial
reports from people will be flu-like symptoms which will not be attributed
to the gas release but attributed to "late flu." Very smart
to release the gas during the peak of flu season.
- Patricia Doyle
- Antiterror Test to Follow Winds and Determine
- By Ian Urbin
- NY Times
- Jerry Allwine will probably receive some crooked stares
next month as he traverses tall rooftops near Madison Square Garden and
releases mysterious gases over Midtown Manhattan.
- Not to worry. He is here to help.
- Mr. Allwine, an engineer with the Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory in Richland, Wash., is one of the directors on a team of about
50 scientists and emergency planners that will release a harmless gas sometime
between March 7 and March 21 to study how air might flow through the city
in the event of a terrorist attack or an accident involving toxic chemicals.
- The team, which began planning the study this week with
the city's Office of Emergency Management, will place 31 battery-powered
air samplers on rooftops and sidewalks within a half-mile of the Garden.
The resulting data will be used to develop better computer models for simulating
the movements of airborne hazards.
- The study is part of the Urban Dispersion Program, a
$10 million project sponsored by the Homeland Security, Defense and Energy
Departments that began in 2004 and will end in 2007.
- On a day with gentle winds and no rain, the team will
release six different gases into the air from separate locations, allowing
the scientists to know where each one came from.
- The team will track the gases using tracer samplers,
which consist of a breadbox-size container sometimes mounted on a long
pole or tripod. Inside the box is a battery-powered pump that fills about
20 plastic bags with air at predetermined sampling times. The team will
hang 21 of the samplers from light poles; the 10 others will be set on
rooftops. The team will also place wind vanes and other equipment on rooftops
and sidewalks to measure the direction, speed and moisture of the air.
- Mr. Allwine said the six gases being used are collectively
called perfluorocarbon tracers, which he said are colorless, odorless and
entirely safe. These gases are ideal for the project because they can be
detected at very low levels, he said. The same gases have also been used
in meteorological tests since the late 1960's, he said, and more recently
by utilities for detecting pipe leaks.
- "Our aim is to begin to understand how atmospheric
dispersion occurs," said Tony Fainberg, an official at the Directorate
for Science and Technology, a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
"And we believe that if you can figure out this complicated phenomena
for New York City, with its deep urban canyons and its unpredictable air
flows, then you can figure it out anywhere."
- The results of the study, which is financed entirely
with federal funds, will be shared with local emergency officials, said
Jarrod N. Bernstein, a spokesman for the city's Office of Emergency Management.
With that knowledge, emergency officials will have a better idea of how
much of the city might be affected by a terrorist attack.
- "For example, if a tanker truck carrying toxic gases
crashes downtown or a terrorist releases anthrax in the air, you want to
be able to start predicting the places that are downwind," Mr. Fainberg
said. "With computer modeling you can start to figure out whether
to tell people to get off the streets immediately or to stay inside. You
can also start figuring out where to send the ambulance, police and Fire
- With better information, he added, "you can avoid
having people running into the plume instead of away from it."
- Paul J. Browne, a spokesman for the New York Police Department,
said the study would be helpful but noted that the city already has extensive
monitoring systems to catch problems before they occur. The national Biowatch
system in the city consists of a number of machines, checked daily, that
register biological hazards, he said. The city also has about 900 police
sergeants who are assigned to carry pager-size devices that detect radioactivity,
- Aside from having samplers on rooftops and light poles,
12 of the federal team's scientists will track the gases by walking the
blocks near the Garden with pen-size samplers clipped to their lapels.
Twenty-five students from the New York City College of Technology and Medgar
Evers College, both in Brooklyn, will also help in setting up the sidewalk
samplers and rooftop wind vanes, which will be completed in the first week
- Further field studies are scheduled for August 2005 and
March 2006. Those tests will cover a larger area of New York City, and
tracking instruments will be used inside certain buildings to monitor the
exchange between outdoor and indoor air.
- Antiterror Test to Follow Winds and Determine
- By IAN URBINA
- Published: February 11, 2005
- A team of about 50 scientists and emergency planners
will release a harmless gas to study how air might flow through New York
City in the event of a terrorist attack.
- Antiterror Test to Follow Winds and Determine Airborne
Paths. Mr. Allwine, an engineer with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
in Richland, Wash., is one of the directors on a team of about 50 scientists
and emergency planners that will release a harmless gas sometime between
March 7 and March 21 to study how air might flow through the city in the
event of a terrorist attack or an accident involving toxic chemicals. New
York Times. 11 February 2005. [related story] [Registration Required]
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=emergingdiseases
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health