To keep things in check, the WHO has set 1.5 mg/L as the maximum limit for fluoride in drinking water. "To determine whether drinking water is safe we need to detect fluoride in water at the level of parts-per-million (ppm)," says Kyriakos Stylianou at the Laboratory of molecular simulation at EPFL Valais Wallis. "Around 1-1.5 ppm is good for teeth, but in many countries the water sources have concentrations above 2 ppm can cause serious health issues."
But measuring fluoride at such low concentrations with sufficient accuracy is expensive and requires a well-equipped chemical lab. Because of this, fluoride contamination in water affects a number of developing countries today, and even parts of developed countries.
Stylianou - Team - Scientists - Device - Concentrations
Led by Stylianou, a team of scientists have now built a device that can accurately measure fluoride concentrations using only a few drops of water -- even with low-level contamination -- resulting in a simple change in color brightness. Published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), the device is named SION-105, is portable, considerably cheaper than current methods, and can be used on-site by virtually anyone.
The key to the device is the design of a novel material that the scientists synthesized (and after which the device is...
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