BARC develops portable kit to detect chromium in water

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on August 18, 2016

​Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has developed a portable kit to check chromium contamination in water. Chromium, which is widely used in industries such as leather, steel, chrome plating, paint manufacturing and wood preservation, is one of the major effluents found in water in several parts of the country.

Hexavalent Chromium Cr (VI) is toxic and the World Health Organisation has classified it as carcinogenic, adding that its presence in water can cause stomach ulcers and cancers and severe damage to kidneys and liver.

BARC’s kit is simple, user-friendly, quick and cost-effective for onsite determination of Cr (VI) and meets IS10500 as well as US Environmental Protection Agency criterion, said a release from the Department of Atomic Energy, adding that it provides the much needed solution to measure the level of chromium contamination in drinking water and tap water, lakes, rivers as well as ground water.

While the existing imported kit for on-site detection of chromium (VI) costs about Rs 100/sample, analysis using the BARC kit will cost Rs16/sample, it said, adding that the technology of the BARC kit for Cr(VI) detection was transferred to LTEK Industries, Nagpur, on Wednesday.

“The portable kit involves adding a specified amount of specific reagents to the water sample and identifying the developed colour. The colour develops within 5 minutes and the distinction can be made with the naked eye. For ease of comparison, a colour chart is provided with the kit,” said the release.

Once tested, water samples can be immediately categorised as being safe or toxic for drinking from the Chromium(VI) point of view, said the release.

According to IS10500 standards for drinking water, the maximum permissible concentration of Cr(VI) in drinking water is 50 microgram per litre. The EPA recommends a lower permissible concentration of 10 microgram per litre.

Published on August 18, 2016
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