Instrument to Identify Hazardous Children's Products that Could Cause Lead Poison

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43ES015439-01A2
Agency Tracking Number: ES015439
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solitcitation Year: 2007
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02472
Duns: 073804411
Hubzone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (617) 668-6808
Business Contact
Phone: (617) 668-6801
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Summary Lead and its compounds have been rated as one of the leading chemicals posing the greatest threat to human health. Significant amounts of lead are found in a multitude of consumer goods, ranging from electronics, household goods, to toys. In 1997, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported identifying and taking action to reduce or eliminate the risk of lead poisoning from a number of consumer products in which lead was accessible to children. These products of serious concern include imported crayons, imported non-glossy vinyl miniblinds, playground equipment, children's jewelry and clothing. There are regulatory limits to the content of lead used in consumer products. However, many are voluntary and most apply only to items that are manufactured for use by very young children six years of age or younger. Unfortunately, lead does find it's way into toys. In February 2006, a four year old boy died of lead poisoning after swallowing a piece of a toy containing lead. This tragedy has resulted in a recall of nearly one million similar toys. There is no practical, cost effective method for testing consumer products for lead content. Existing techniques are either very expensive or samples must be sent to laboratories. Thus, the availability of a practical, cost-effective, quality assurance technology could help prevent future illness and deaths from lead poisoning. This proposed effort will examine the feasibility of designing a very inexpensive, simple to operate, hand-held instrument, based on a revolutionary detector technology. The proposed instrument will be used by manufacturers, distributors, public safety personnel, and possibly retail stores and parents, to examine goods for lead content.Narrative Lead and its compounds pose a great threat to human health, especially in children. As unlikely as it seems in the 21st century, one of the remaining major sources of lead is in children's products and toys. This application proposes to investigate and develop technology that can be used to test consumer products for lead content. The result will be a very inexpensive, safe, and easy to use instrument to test for the presence of lead in children's products, before they reach store shelves.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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