CSU professors develop technology to benefit industry

FORT COLLINS – Two Colorado State University professors hope to commercialize a new method that determines whether industrial workers have been exposed to heavy metals.

Chuck Henry, a chemistry professor and CEO of Advanced MicroLabs LLC, and John Volckens, associate professor in Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, developed the simple, inexpensive method, the university said Wednesday.

The scientists are working with the CSU Research Foundation to commercialize the invention.

The professors hope to understand what tasks or locations in a particular job have the highest exposure, Henry said.

“Millions of U.S. workers are exposed to heavy metals, and if we can identify these exposures in a cost-effective manner, then we should be able to help mitigate the problem and protect the health of our industrial workforce,” Henry said.

Other methods take weeks to process samples and cost hundreds of dollars per measurement, Volckens said.

Henry’s Advanced MicroLabs also has developed technology to monitor low levels of contaminants in water used in electric power plants. It has raised more than $3 million in grant funding and is working to bring the technology to market.

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