Fluoride can be detected in drinking water by a simple color-altering assay that can, in the future, put off the paralyzing bone disorder, skeletal fluorosis, in the developing countries such as Tanzania and India. Low fluoride amounts are favorable for healthy teeth; however, high fluoride levels can deteriorate bones, resulting in skeletal fluorosis. This ailment causes crippling deformities of the joints and spine, particularly, in kids whose skeletons are still developing.
The water can dissolve fluoride when it passes over specific mineral, which leads to elevated fluoride levels in drinking water resources in the regions of China, East Africa, North America, and India. In developed countries, fluoride levels in drinking water are supervised and controlled routinely at treatment works. Nevertheless, in regions of the world where there is no treatment works or piped water system, individuals depend on fetching unprocessed water from the wells that can often be polluted with higher than suggested fluoride levels.
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The fluoride amounts in the groundwater can differ owing to weather incidents, with levels changing immensely when there is too much rain. A group of researchers, at the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies of the University of Bath and the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC), directed by Simon Lewis, designed an easy color-changing trial that senses high fluoride levels rapidly and selectively.
Even though the analysis is at the proof-of-concept phase, the team intends to design it into a throwaway test strip that is inexpensive and simple to use by anybody. Lewis said that although a small quantity of fluoride is beneficial for your teeth and averts decaying of the tooth, high amounts are toxic and can result in crippling irregularities that are irretrievable.
He said, “The majority water quality monitoring systems require a laboratory and power supply as well as a skilled operator to employ them. What we have designed is a molecule that merely alters color in a few minutes that can inform you whether the fluoride level is too high.”
He further added, “This system is in the very early phases, but we would want to extend this technique into test strips, akin to litmus paper, which enables individuals with no scientific teaching to execute a test that is rapid, robust, and low-priced. We project that in the future it can make an actual difference to lives of people.”
Now, the team is seeking for additional associates to take the technology ahead and assist in developing the test. They’re also functioning toward acclimatizing the technology to other sorts of notorious water pollutants of global concern, including lead, cadmium, and mercury.