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This presentation describes the use of an FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared)-based spectrometer designed to continuously monitor ambient air for the presence of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs). The necessity of a reliable system capable of quickly and accurately detecting very low levels of CWAs and TICs while simultaneously retaining a negligible false alarm rate will be explored. Technological advancements in FTIR sensing have reduced noise while increasing selectivity and speed of detection. The hardware and algorithms described here will explain why this FTIR system is very effective for the simultaneous detection and speciation of a wide variety of toxic compounds at ppb concentrations. Analytical test data will be reviewed demonstrating the system's sensitivity to and selectivity for specific CWAs and TICs. These results include analyses of data from live agent testing for the determination of detection limits, immunity to interferences, detection times, and false alarm rates. Sensing systems such as this are critical for effective chemical hazard identification which is directly relevant to the Homeland Security community.