DHS, MBTA to conduct study on airborne contaminants

ATLANTA, Dec. 2, 2009 - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has announced plans to conduct a new study on airborne contaminants and how they would react should they be released into a subway system, the agencies announced on Wednesday.

According to a statement issued by the DHS, the study will consist of the release of harmless tracer gasses used for indoor and outdoor air testing in more than 20 stations and cars in the MBTA subway system from Dec. 5-11. The study will reportedly help scientists understand the airflow characteristics for smoke or the unintentional spill of chemicals or fuels.

“Proactively studying and preparing for possible threats is one of our most effective strategies for fortifying our critical infrastructure,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement. “This study is one of many efforts the Department is undertaking across the country to inform our emergency response planning in preparation for chemical or biological terrorist attacks.”

For more information about the study, visit www.dhs.gov.