NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A unit of the Department of Homeland Security will conduct a weeklong study on airflow in the New York City subway system beginning Monday.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the Science and Technology Directorate for the DHS will conduct a weeklong study to gather data on how airborne particles would behave if contaminants were released.

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Dr. Donald Bansleben of the DHS said more than 200 devices will be placed in the subway system. The study is intended to inform local officials.

“Guidance to help them to recover the subway system should there be release of a hazardous material,” Bansleben said.

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Chuck Burrus of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said air in the system moves quickly.

“The piston effect of the movement of trains,” Burrus said.

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The testing will involve particle tracers and non-toxic, inert gases.