Improved Technology for Measuring Lead Detection in Lead-Based Paint Phase II

EPA Contract Number: 68D30069
Title: Improved Technology for Measuring Lead Detection in Lead-Based Paint Phase II
Investigators: Parsons, Charles G.
Small Business: Niton Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1993 through March 1, 1995
Project Amount: $150,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1993) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Lead paint is a primary source of lead poisoning, particularly in children. A central problem to a more vigorous attack on finding lead-paint surfaces is the lack of an inexpensive, portable method for measuring levels of lead in concentrations as least as low as 1 mg per cm2. In Phase I, Niton Corporation proposed to show the L x-ray lines of lead rather then K x-rays could be used to measure lead concentrations buried beneath many layers of non-lead paint. They further proposed to develop a portable, high-resolution detector of L x-rays of lead. They have surpassed all of the goals of Phase I. They have proved that L x-ray fluorescence can quickly measure lead concentrations to well below 1 mg/cm2, even when the lead is covered by many layers of paint of unknown thickness and composition. Niton Corporation has built a laboratory prototype of a small, portable unit, with excellent energy resolution and spectrum analysis, that demonstrates the effectiveness of the method. The response from lead inspection professionals has been very positive. It is the primary purpose of Phase II to develop the technique further with the specific aims of dramatically reducing the costs of the instrument. The commercial potential for such an instrument is extremely high.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Sustainable Environment, Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Monitoring/Modeling, Analytical Chemistry, Children's Health, genetic susceptability, Engineering, sensitive populations, paint removal, L x-ray fluorescence, cleaner production, adolescents, lead, detect, exposure, children, portable detection system, measurement, pollution prevention, lead based paint, environmental hazard exposures

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final