4 years ago

A Drinking Water Sensor for Lead and Other Heavy Metals

A Drinking Water Sensor for Lead and Other Heavy Metals
Mark A. Burns, Zhongrui Li, Wen-Chi Lin
Leakage of lead and other heavy metals into drinking water is a significant health risk and one that is not easily detected. We have developed simple sensors containing only platinum electrodes for the detection of heavy metal contamination in drinking water. The two-electrode sensor can identify the existence of a variety of heavy metals in drinking water, and the four-electrode sensor can distinguish lead from other heavy metals in solution. No false-positive response is generated when the sensors are placed in simulated and actual tap water contaminated by heavy metals. Lead detection on the four-electrode sensor is not affected by the presence of common ions in tap water. Experimental results suggest the sensors can be embedded in water service lines for long-time use until lead or other heavy metals are detected. With its low cost (∼$0.10/sensor) and the possibility of long-term operation, the sensors are ideal for heavy metal detection of drinking water.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.7b00843

DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b00843

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