A process environment monitoring system collects and tests air samples from a number of different sample locations. Each sample is drawn into a sample test chamber into which a beam of infrared light is directed from an infrared source. The beam is reflected off mirrors in the test chamber a number of times before it exits and is directed to an infrared detector. The detector identifies absorption peaks in the spectrum of the infrared beam to determine the presence of certain gases of interest in the test chamber. A host computer is provided to function in conjunction with a valve controller to make up a data processing unit. The data processing unit services a number of tasks to make the process environment monitor a fully integrated system. The system controls employee identification, alarm triggering, and automated system control, as well as a number of other functions. Different system access levels are provided, and identification and access level information may be input by the reading of an employee identification card by a magnetic card reader.