Mobile Analytical Platform for Lead Detection in Drinking Water

EPA Contract Number: EPD17042
Title: Mobile Analytical Platform for Lead Detection in Drinking Water
Investigators: Hill, William C
Small Business: NanoSafe, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018
Project Amount: $99,934
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2017) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Water


As recent crises in Flint, Michigan and Washington D.C. have demonstrated, elevated lead levels (ELL’s) can very suddenly and unexpectedly be introduced to water supplies through seemingly unrelated water system alterations. Ingestion of even trace amounts of lead can have detrimental permanent health effects, especially in children; the public is rightly concerned about lead content in the water they drink.

As less-than-forthright practices regarding official disclosure of lead concentrations continue to be exposed, consumers are looking to in-home methods capable of detecting lead above the EPA action level of 15ppb. Unfortunately, current in-home strip-style tests have proven wildly inaccurate, leaving expensive and slow laboratory testing the only viable solution for this high-demand service.

NanoSafe is developing a platform technology capable of accurately measuring lead concentrations in drinking water that will be accessible to every household across the country. Pragmatic guidance regarding device applicability to real-world situations will be provided through the renowned Marc Edwards research group at Virginia Tech. The proposed device uses well-proven chemistry to provide a quantifiable indication of concentrations surrounding the EPA action level, and integration into NanoSafe’s Mobile Analytical Platform will enable rapid identification of the scale and severity of elevated lead levels across entire communities.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Mobile Analytical Platform for Lead Detection in Drinking Water