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May 2nd, 2007
Nanoparticle-based colorimetric method detects part-per-billion levels of mercury
A new colorimetric method provides a simple and sensitive way to detect mercury in aqueous samples. The advance may form the basis of an instrument-free procedure for monitoring mercury levels in lakes and rivers and may lead to similar types of detection methods for other metals.
A variety of harmful effects in humans, from brain damage to DNA alteration, are attributed to mercury exposure. In addition to direct exposure to the metal's poisonous vapors, indirect exposure caused by eating mercury-tainted fish and other water-derived foods has also been fingered as a common route to the metal's toxic effects. Accordingly, a number of procedures have been developed to monitor the heavy metal and its compounds in various settings.
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