BARC develops portable kit for detection of Chromium contamination of water

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has developed a kit for onsite determination of toxic Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI) in drinking water.

The detection kit is simple, user friendly, quick and cost effective kit for onsite determination of Cr(VI) in drinking water. It meets Indian standard IS10500 for drinking water as well as US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criterion.

Key Facts

  • The detection kit provides the much needed solution to measure the level of Chromium contamination in drinking water and tap water, rivers, lakes as well as in ground water.
  • The detection procedure of kit involves adding specific reagents in specified amount to the water sample and identifying the developed colour.
  • The colour develops within 5 minutes and the distinction can be made with naked eye. For ease of comparison a colour chart is provided with the kit.
  • Based on colour chart, water samples can be immediately categorized as safe or toxic for drinking from Cr(VI) point of view.

Advantages of detection kit

  • Onsite detection and instantaneous results.
  • Eliminates need of sophisticated instruments for analysis.
  • Low investment on infrastructure for production of the kit.
  • Easy availability of raw materials.
  • Has very good accuracy for the intended purpose.
  • It is cost effective and cheap compared to imported onsite detection kits.

Background

  • Chromium is widely used in various industries like steel, leather, chrome plating, paint manufacturing, wood preservation etc.
  • Untreated effluents from these industries cause widespread contamination of water and has been reported in several parts of the country.
  • Chromium in the environment primarily exists as Trivalent Chromium Cr(III) and Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI). The Cr(VI) is more toxic compared to Cr(III).
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Cr(VI) as carcinogenic and can cause stomach ulcers, cancers and severely damage kidneys and liver.
  • As per Indian standard IS10500 for drinking water, maximum permissible concentration of Cr(VI) in drinking water is 50 microgram per litre. The US EPA recommends a still lower permissible concentration of 10 microgram per liter.

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Categories: India Current Affairs 2017Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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