Mercury Levels in Water Can Now Be Determined Using Mobile Phones

February 12, 2013 / No Comments

The presence of mercury, the most deadly and toxic element that contaminates water and food materials within a short span of time, can be determined with your mobile phone. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has been in efforts to reduce mercury in the environment. Researchers at the University of Burgos have now come out with new test results that detail how to detect mercury in contaminated water.

mercury Mercury Levels in Water Can Now Be Determined Using Mobile Phones

Paper coated with rhodamine, a fluorescent organic compound which acts as the mercury sensor, can quickly determine mercury content in water and it can be determined clearly with our naked eye.

For a more accurate view, this test sheet which is exposed to contaminated water can be photographed with a mobile phone and color changes can be viewed using an image editor in the phone.

The test sheets adjust color changes when the mercury contamination in the water exceeds. The limit of mercury in water not harmful for human consumption is 2 parts per billion of divalent mercury –Hg (11).

Dangerous amounts of mercury released from coal power plants, heavy industries and organic power plants are easily spread through water and air.

That means the human body is exposed to millions of toxic particles everyday and can contract fatal diseases.

The new discovery will definitely help us mitigate the toxic effects of some elements as it is fast and inexpensive.