A South Bend company is one of 25 small businesses selected for federal research grants to develop technologies to address environmental problems.
Forever Analytical Services Inc. was awarded $99,983 through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Small Business Innovation Research program to develop a field-deployable water sampling device that would help rapidly detect PFAS chemicals in water.
PFAS chemicals are a group of thousands of similar, manmade chemicals that have been used to make products resistant to water, heat, grease and stains since the 1940s.
The chemicals have been linked to various health risks, including increased risk of kidney and testicular cancer, liver damage, increased cholesterol levels, increased risk of high blood pressure, birth defects, decreased vaccine response in children and others.
Limited testing by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has detected the presence of several PFAS chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS, in the treated drinking water of 10 medium-sized Indiana water systems.
IDEM will also test the state’s smallest and largest water systems this year.
The EPA’s grant will help Forever Analytical Services refine a technology developed at the University of Notre Dame. The company was partially funded by the university’s IDEA Center.