Proposal to develop an inexpensive commercial process for the immobilization of l

Period of Performance: 08/15/2011 - 10/31/2012

$147K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Carnow Conibear and Associates, LTD
Chicago, IL 60606
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The object of this project is to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in children by developing an inexpensive, commercially viable product which permanently reduces soluble (bioavailable) lead levels in soils. Young children in areas with lead-contaminated soil often have blood lead levels exceeding the CDC clinical action level. Elevated blood lead levels in children have been correlated with deleterious impacts later in life, including decreased IQ, increased arrest rates and conduct disorder. Phosphorus is an accepted technique for the immobilization of soluble lead in soil. However, the use of phosphorus can create phosphate leaching and run-off pollution. The addition of gypsum is proposed to mitigate phosphate impacts. Research will consist of bench-scale testing of gypsum and phosphate compounds mixed with water and lead-contaminated soil. Several application and mixing methods will be evaluated. The resulting mixtures will be tested for percentages of total and soluble lead (Pb) and total and leachable phosphorus (P). The standard for clinical effectiveness will be derived from the EPA model predicting a child's blood lead level based on soluble lead levels in soil. Additional evaluation factors will include the time to complete remediation, remediation cost, product safety issues, and aesthetic concerns (e.g. odor). A consumer interest survey will be conducted for potential users, including homeowners, businesses and local government. The survey will measure lead awareness, interest in lead remediation, price points and perceived barriers to use. The primary outcome of the project will be the selection of the best combination of an effective in situ treatment product with potential buyers'interest in using the product.