hydroxycobalamin in a Conway dish. The technique may be accelerated by the use of a heating sheet at 45°C. The method proved to be specific, sensitive, and fast, thus permitting measurements in emergency situations. A possible alternative to the GC-MS approach described above is an automated fluorometric measurement described in TB MED 296 (Groff et al., 1985). The CN- assay methods provide direct measurement of plasma-free CN- and the stabilization of total CN- in blood. Samples for both plasma-free CN- and total-blood CN- are assayed directly without prior isolation of CN- by a completely automated method requiring only 16 minutes from sampling to readout.
R&D needs in chemical detection vary from simply evaluating what already exists to developing better procedures and methods for better detecting exposure levels. The ultimate goal of chemical detection is to rapidly and inexpensively detect and perhaps identify toxic substances that threaten to endanger both responders and victims. To this end, the committee has identified the following list of research needs: