A Standard for Synthetic Opioid Detection

ASTM International’s committee on homeland security applications (E54) is developing a proposed standard (WK66045) that will allow first responders and others to more effectively use equipment and assays while field testing unknown, potentially dangerous materials that may contain drugs, particularly synthetic opioids.

“This standard will provide a means to consistently and objectively test equipment and assays used for detection of fentanyl and fentanyl-related compounds in the field,” says ASTM International member Rich Ozanich, senior research scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory National Security Directorate. “Systematically testing such equipment and assays will enable a clear understanding of their performance and potential weaknesses, which in turn will allow better-informed procurement decisions.”

Ozanich says that first responders, including police, hazardous materials teams, and emergency medical technicians will be the primary beneficiaries of the standard. In addition, federal, state, and local agencies involved with drug interdiction, such as Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as manufacturers of field detection equipment and assays, will find the new standard beneficial. 

ASTM International’s homeland security committee welcomes participation, particularly from the local, state, and federal first responder community, in the development of this proposed standard. Become a member at www.astm.org/JOIN.

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