Lead contamination and exposure can cause “ profound and permanent ” impacts, including brain damage in children, and increased risk of kidney damage, cardiovascular disease, and miscarriage, according to the World Health Organization.
Lead Detection Breakthrough: Green Fluorescent Light with Spray-on Detector
While known contamination is relatively easy to mitigate, the detection itself can be a tricky proposition. Standard methods can only detect lead if it’s isolated and concentrated first.
Now, researchers at Amolf, a research institute dedicated to studying the physics of matter, have developed a spray-on reagent that signals the presence of even tiny amounts of lead by lighting up fluorescent green under a UV light within seconds. Comprised of methyl ammonium bromide in isopropanol, it reacts with lead to form a photoluminescent lead bromide perovskite (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2023, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.3c06058) .
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