Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Elizabethtown College Awarded EPA Student Innovative Technology Grant For Lead Detection

On February 19, a student team from Elizabethtown College in Lancaster County was awarded a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency P3 Student Design Competition Program grant to create a paper test to detect lead in drinking water.
A total of 18 teams throughout the United States were awarded $447,000 in funding through EPA's People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Design Competition.
“These P3 grants are a great way for hard-working, devoted college students to put their talents together to assist EPA in finding solutions to some of the environmental and human health challenges we face today,” said Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, EPA Mid-Atlantic Region. “These student proposals for Region 3 – a self-sustainable portable desalination system using wave and solar renewable energy, a pollution control strategy intended to reduce nutrient emissions and a plan to develop a simple and inexpensive paper test for lead in tap water – are quite impressive and will go a long way in EPA’s fundamental responsibility protecting human health and the environment.” 
Elizabethtown students will use the initial $23,811 grant to develop a simple, inexpensive paper test for lead using polymer nanoparticles, which encapsulate a molecular probe that has a colorimetric response to lead. 
As a tap water sample flows down the strip, signal will result from the interaction of the lead ions with the molecular probe. This signal can be visually observed by the user, giving communities which fall victim to contaminated water the opportunity to test their water and have control over their health.
The teams will showcase their projects at EPA’s National Student Design Expo on June 29-30 at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. Following the Expo, the P3 teams may compete for Phase II awards of up to $100,000 to further implement their designs.
For more information on this issue, visit DEP’s Lead In Drinking Water webpage.
[Posted: February 19, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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