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Current Affairs

High sensitive device to detect lead

Date: 20 October 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A highly sensitive, portable device that can detect the presence of extremely small quantities of lead in water has been fabricated by a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur.

 

Background

Lead is one of the major component of underground water poollutants, which affects health of consumers. The World Health Organisation limit for lead in drinking water is 5 ppb.

 

Details

  • The sensor is highly specific to lead even in the presence of other metals such as mercury, copper, zinc, cadmium and chromium and is extremely fast in detection.

  • The sensor is multi-usable. As the materials used in the sensor are stable, it can be used several times for real-time monitoring.

Advantages

The sensor can be reused by washing with water. The sensor response time which is the time taken to detect lead , is hardly affected when reused.

 

Lead pollutant

  • Lead can enter drinking water when plumbing materials that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures.

  • The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and fixtures.

Effects of lead

  • At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death.

  • Lead exposure also causes anaemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs.