Skip Navigation


Export to Word (
Principal Investigator: Weber, Andrew
Institute Receiving Award Giner, Inc.
Location Newton, MA
Grant Number R43ES033890
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 19 Jul 2022 to 30 Sep 2024
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT Low-Cost Amperometric Ozone Monitor for Communities Affected by Wildfires The rising frequency and severity of wildfires (forest fires, biomass fuel fires, etc.) in the United States is an important environmental public health issue. Smoke produced during a wildfire travels far downwind, exposing roughly 2/3 of Americans to pollutants detrimental to ambient air quality. A vast majority of the medical and scientific effort is focused on the populations’ exposure to fine particulate matter produced during these fires. However, ozone from wildfires can lead to many pulmonary health conditions and, unlike particulate matter, cannot be mitigated using HEPA filters or N95 masks. Despite the negative health effects there are few tools available for monitoring ambient ozone concentrations during these natural disasters. Current detection equipment is expensive, prone to interference, and sacrifices accuracy when made portable. Consequently, most communities have little information regarding their exposure and health officials are unable to assess the health impact of ozone produced from wildfires. Recent advancements in electrochemical gas sensor technology make them an appealing option to monitor ambient air pollutants. Developments in screen printed electrode fabrication and research into non-aqueous electrolytes have resulted in low-cost devices with performance comparable to bench top instruments. Interest in room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) as an alternative electrolyte media has made long-term remote gas sensing more practical. Unlike aqueous electrolytes, RTILs have negligible vapor pressures and high stability so they do not dry out or take part in electrochemical reactions. This program will develop a thick-film electrochemical sensor utilizing RTILs for autonomous monitoring of ozone in communities affected by wildfires. Leveraging Giner’s electrochemical sensor experience a low-cost ozone detector will be made widely accessible to the public for the first time. Giner’s fully developed monitor will have a limit of detection (LOD) of 10 ppb, linear range of 10-500 ppb, and prevent interference from other common wildfire gases. A corresponding portable instrument will be developed to include electronics, battery power, and wireless data communication for use by health officials, researchers, and citizens within affected communities.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 74 - Biosensors/Biomarkers
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Lingamanaidu Ravichandran
to Top