Portable Kit to Check Water Contamination

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  • National Centre for Compositional Characterisation of Materials (NCCCM), Chemistry Group, BARC, located at Hyderabad has developed a portable visual detection kit for detection of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] between 5 to 500 ng/ml ( ppb) range in water within 5 minutes.
  • Chromium exists in the environment primarily in two valence states, trivalent chromium (Cr III) and hexavalent chromium (Cr VI).
  • Cr (III) is biologically important element and needed for glucose and lipid metabolism.
  • Cr (VI), however, is considered toxic and IARC (International Agency for Research in Cancer, WHO) has classified it as a group 1 agent, defined as carcinogenic to humans.
  • According to the method developed, three reagents kept inside different bottles are to be added to the clear water sample.
  • Reagent 1 and Reagent 2 are added and mixed for two minutes.
  • The third reagent is then added and mixed thoroughly (shaken for 1-2 minutes). Within 5 minutes, a pink color develops in the top layer and the intensity of this is compared by visual inspection to obtain the Cr(VI) range in water.
  • By this method Cr(VI) can be detected in drinking water sources such as ground water, lake water, river water, etc.
  • According to Indian standard IS10500, maximum permissible limit for Cr(VI) in drinking water is 50 ng/mL and as per United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) it is 10 ng/mL and the kit meets the requirements of both the standards.
  • The technology of this kit has been transferred to M/S LTek Systems, Nagpur for commercialization of the product for societal benefit.

Source: PIB