Fixed site and wearable monitors for assessment of personal exposure to airborne chemicals

Period of Performance: 03/01/2017 - 08/31/2017

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

XploSafe LLC
1414 S Sangre Road Array
Stillwater, OK 74074
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Project Summary/Abstract People in all facets of life are exposed to volatile toxins that may cause them to unexplainably sicken. The NIEHS Exposure Biology and Exposome Program has the ambitious and worthy goal to track a person?s exposures from conception to death and correlate these with biological responses and health outcomes. Achieving this goal will require numerous inexpensive sensors that can measure chemical exposure of a mobile population under wildly varying conditions. Continuous assessment of an individual?s exposure over long periods of time will require an extensive network of inexpensive fixed site and wearable monitors. To advance this goal, this project aims to develop passive area and personal dosimeters that measure a person's exposure to chemicals by testing the air that the person breathes regardless of location. Moreover, since many volatile toxin may not have been identified and their potential threat to health is unknown, it is necessary that these monitors can gather, store, and stabilize vapors from a broad array of chemical compounds with widely varying chemical properties. XploSafe plans to develop and commercialize the next generation of passive dosimeters and area samplers for NIEHS and industrial hygiene applications. The research will focus on potential chemical contaminants that people could encounter through work-related exposures or interactions with their ambient environments. The dosimeters will be based on a novel sorbent material that is capable of adsorbing and stabilizing even highly reactive compounds through a nanoconfinement effect. Thus, these dosimeters provide the chemical stability required for complete analysis before sample degradation takes place. Flexible control of surface chemistry and the ability to mix sorbents with varying functionalization can allow creation of sorbent blends that address all classes of organic contaminants. Specific research objectives will include (1) Preparation of target sorbents with surfaces tailored for sorption of various types of organic chemicals (2) Determination of the uptake capacities and rates of adsorption of target compounds belonging to 10 different classes of airborne organic compounds (3) Demonstrate the desorption and subsequent analysis of adsorbed compounds (4) Determine the effects of long-term storage of monitors with adsorbed contaminants and (5) Design of dosimeter and area monitors to include a clip-on badge and a fabric strip. If successful, this project will result in the development of markedly improved wearable dosimeters and fixed site monitors for determining personal exposure to hazardous vapors. Commercialization of the new technology will address NIEHS?s needs and the civilian market for passive dosimeters and area monitors. The solution will be commercialized as a full-service offering that will include dosimeter badges and analysis for specific and broad categories of toxic vapors. These could be used for continuous monitoring of both personal exposure and the sites where exposure takes place The XploSafe solution will also allow industrial hygiene sampling such as 8- hour TWA (time-weighted average); or 15-minute STEL (short-term exposure limit) for workplace monitoring.