CHICAGO, June 13 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 recently announced that DzymeTech Inc. of Champaign, Ill., has been awarded a $70,000 contract for its nanotechnology-based test kit for lead in household paint and dust. The company is one of ten in Region 5 that in total received more than $1 million in funding from the 2006 EPA Small Business Innovation Research program. Lead in household paint and dust is a serious health hazard as low-level lead exposure can result in a number of adverse health effects, especially in children. Phase I of the project will determine the feasibility of transforming the concept developed at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign into a commercial product at DzymeTech. It will lay the foundation for a large-scale test and further development in phase II. The outcome will be a reliable, low-cost, user-friendly spot test kit that can be used by homeowners and lead removal professionals. The 22 million small businesses in the United States employ about 51 percent of the private work force and develop most of the country's new technologies. Years ago, Congress recognized the need to strengthen the role of small businesses in federally funded research and development and passed a law creating the Small Business Innovation Research program for businesses with no more than 500 employees. EPA's highly competitive SBIR program offers critical financial support to small businesses to develop the technologies in areas of environmental protection including clean air and water, hazardous and solid wastes, pollution prevention, remediation and monitoring. Recent issues also include homeland security. To learn more about these research projects and EPA's SBIR program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir . EPA relies on quality science as the basis for sound policy and decision- making. EPA's laboratories, research centers and grantees are building the scientific foundation needed to support the Agency's mission to safeguard human health and the environment.
SOURCE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5