A Chinese research team has developed an effective colorimetric method to detect lead contamination in water via fluorescent test strips.
The research team with the Institute of Intelligent Machines, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IIM-CAS) , developed fluorescent nanoprobes with the proportional mixing of blue carbon dots and red carbon dots.
The study further disclosed; that the amount of lead ions increases, the coloring changes from blue to red with UV light in five minutes.
A mobile application, also designed by the research team, which will offer semi-quantitative results by reading the coloring of the test strips.
Lead ions is considered one of the most toxic heavy metal ions and traditional lead-detecting methods always require expensive instruments, professional operation and long testing periods, said a researcher co-working with the team.
According to the study, the detection limits of the fluorescent probe solution were 2.89 nM and 35.26 nM respectively by using luminescence spectrometer and the smartphone application for drinking water .
Using a smartphone identified the RGB values of fluorescent paper strips, on-site and semi-quantitative detection of lead ions in water can be realized, the entire detection process can be completed in 5 minutes.
The new time-saving method is both eco-friendly and effective, and greatly helps reduce costs, said the researcher. The study was published in the Analytical Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the latest advancement in analytical chemistry.