Vaporsens is honored to be awarded a Phase I SBIR research grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The research award will be used to continue the development of Vaporsens nanofiber chemical sensors for monitoring formaldehyde in indoor environments. Vaporsens is eager to develop sensors that will effectively mitigate the public health risk of pervasive formaldehyde exposure.
Here is additional information from the EPA regarding indoor formaldehyde exposure:
Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature that has a strong odor. Indoor exposure can result from formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, building materials, insulation, glues, paints and coatings, permanent press fabrics, cosmetics, dishwashing liquids, gas stoves, kerosene heaters, and cigarette smoke. (https://www.epa.gov/formaldehyde/facts-about-formaldehyde (link is external))
Exposure to formaldehyde can cause adverse health effects, including (at 0.1-0.5 ppm) nasal and eye irritation, neurological effects, and increased risk of asthma and/or allergy, and (at 0.6-1.9 ppm) eczema and changes in lung function. (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=219&tid=39 (link is external)) Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. (http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-fact-sheet (link is external))
Exposure to formaldehyde can be reduced by opening windows, using fans to bring in outside air, and removing and/or avoiding products that are sources of formaldehyde emissions. Having a low-cost formaldehyde sensor would enable people to know when mitigation measures are warranted and how effective they are. As a result, EPA is seeking the development and commercialization of such sensors.