Incident Response

Incident Response


When a spill or accident occurs, DirectCIH is prepared to give immediate direction. Our experienced Certified Industrial Hygienists strategically and tactically manage planning and response to minimize economic impacts and hazards to people and the environment.


DirectCIH provides expert project management, including the following:


Determination of the extent of first response


The immediate formulation of an action plan, including:

  • Means of protection of workers and others
  • Identifying hazards and the extent of risk
  • Determining suppression and protection required
  • Developing site controls such as zoning and evacuation
  • Providing training to workers
  • Recruitment of personnel and equipment


Service as liaison with first responders as necessary


Project management for the client


Service as communication liaison for the client


Since a rapid response is essential, DirectCIH will be on-site within hours, with preliminary planning completed during transit. Following are specific areas of incident response capability:


Industrial Hygiene pursues the identification, evaluation and control of hazards. DirectCIH‘s forte is the management of this process during emergency response.



DirectCIH performs data gathering, analysis, and control determinations on-site for situations where rapid information is needed.


We use state-of-the-art, real time, on-site sampling and analytical technologies. Very low levels of multiple chemical compounds, both organic and inorganic, can be identified by field IR and GC-MS analyses.


A rapid understanding of what, where, and how much chemical contamination exists at an incident can be determined. After initial identification periodic monitoring and, where needed, long-term monitoring programs can be conducted using portable and laboratory methods.


Organic chemicals that can be monitored in the field include

  • Gasoline, hexane
  • Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX)
  • Ketones, formaldehyde
  • Fluranes (anesthetics), glymes (glycol ethers), and alcohols


Inorganic gases can also be monitored in the field, including:

  • Ammonia
  • NOx, SOx
  • Chlorine



Aerosol releases can cause fires, explosions, asphyxiation, poisoning, and environmental contamination. DirectCIH performs data gathering, analysis, and control determinations on-site for these situations where rapid information is needed.


For aerosols, we use laser photometry: state-of-the-art, real time, on-site sampling and analytical technology. Direct reading ultrafine particle counters quantify:

  • Smoke
  • Fume
  • Combustion nuclei
  • Nanoparticles


Mass concentrations of aerosols are determined in the field for five size fractions simultaneously:

  • 1 um
  • 2.5 um
  • 4 um
  • 10 um, and
  • 15 um


The information DirectCIH acquires when arriving at an incident with this technology allows us to determine quickly where sources are, where they are going, and where aerosol levels may put people and property at risk.


Pipelines and Sewers

DirectCIH monitors ambient air to measure many fugitive chemical compounds from pipelines and sewers. Oxygen, carbon monoxide, and combustible gas sensors are combined with state-of-the-art, real time, on-site sampling and analytical technologies. To identify leaks or suspect locations, very low levels of

    • Methane, propane, and butane
    • Hydrogen sulfide, and
    • Carbon disulfide


can be identified, to 0.1 ppb, by conducting field IR and GC-MS analyses.


Waste Streams

Any chemical waste release requires rapid response using knowledge of complex mixtures and how they might behave in an open environment. Quick determination works best using:

      • Real time sampling and analysis, combined with
      • Understanding of the principles of chemical behavior, and
      • Knowledge of the surroundings and conditions.


Mold, Biologicals

DirectCIH has extensive experience in the prevention, determination, and assistance in the remediation of microbial and particularly fungal contamination. We have conducted incident responses where occupants experienced ill effects at hospitals, schools, offices, military installations, and homes. DirectCIH industrial hygienists work regularly with one AIHA accredited microbiology laboratory. They assist us with site-specific consulting and support .


Types of air, surface, and bulk tests include:

      • Non-viable microscopy of spore traps(air), tape slides(surface), and grab samples(bulk)
      • Culturing of viable samples from impactors and agar plates(air), swabs and wipes (surface), and bulk solids and liquids
      • Chemical – determination of types and amounts of Metabolic Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs), using GC-MS analysis on site.
      • Chinese drywall – determination of extent of contamination through observation and sampling.


Spills, SPCC Plans

The quality of an incident response defines the extent of a spill; the difference between good and bad can be measured in lives, injuries, and dollars. DirectCIH has the personnel and technology to minimize these costs. We provide an array of on site, direct reading instrumentation that can identify hundreds of thousands of chemicals, at part per million (ppm) levels, minutes after arrival.


Combined with accurate knowledge of the site and the processes involved, this critical information allows:

    • Zoning of a site, access control
    • Evacuation areas
    • Determination of PPE levels
    • Initial offensive strategies
    • Evaluation of outcome