Laser-based sensing permits to detect toxic gases with very high sensitivity and virtually free of false alarms. This is used to protect staff working in production and analysis of materials with very small (≤ ppm) maximum permissible concentrations. Using the detection of selected gases, laser sensing provides false alarm free fire detection.
With close relation to health and environmental issues, laser-based sensing allows for monitoring pollutants used in the construction of houses or furniture. For example, formaldehyde (CH2O) used in the fabrication of adhesives, building materials and furniture is cancerogenic and supposed to be mutagenetic, therefore requiring surveillance of its concentration at work as well as in households.
Further security applications include highly toxic byproducts of chemical processes with very low maximum permissible concentrations. The high sensitivity and fast response of laser-based sensing is key to many applications in this area.