SAN FRANCISCO — EPA announced that HJ Science & Technology Inc. located in Berkeley, California, will receive a $300,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to build a portable instrument to analyze cyanotoxins in surface waters, according to a press release.

This portable instrument will help to protect people from potentially harmful toxic algal blooms in lakes and rivers, stated the release.

The release reported that high cyanotoxin levels can threaten the health of people and wildlife, and levels of cyanotoxin are typically measured by collecting field samples and bringing them to a laboratory for analysis, which can be a time consuming and cost-prohibitive process.

Once the new portable “lab-on-a-chip” instrument that monitors and detects cyanotoxins in the field is built, HJ Science & Technology will field test the new instrument at Pinto Lake, a popular recreational spot new Santa Cruz, California, that experiences seasonal toxic algal blooms, noted the release.

“Supporting the growth of environmental small businesses in California grows the economy and helps protect the health of our communities,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “SBIR provides an avenue for entrepreneurs like HJ Science & Technology to create green products and bring them to the marketplace.”

Read the entire release here.