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Picarro Gets Grant for Pollutant Monitor

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2006
The US Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to Picarro Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., to produce instrumentation for detecting the toxic chemical acrolein. The company will develop a continuous monitor with a sensitivity of parts per billion, based on its patented cavity ringdown spectroscopy instruments.

Used as an herbicide, acrolein is a common chemical released into the air not only by burning vegetation, but also by power plants, furnaces, gasoline- and diesel-powered engines and even cooking and cigarette smoke. It causes respiratory irritation, is believed to increase the risk of diseases such as cancer and, at high concentrations, can be deadly.

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