Science

What is really in your water?

When water is safe, there is nothing better to drink.that is good For teeth, skin, weight management and even the ability to think straight. However, drinking water contaminated with pathogens, heavy metals and other harmful substances can cause diarrhea. Brain injury, infertility And cancer..

Bottled water does not guarantee the safety of water.Not only that Not always safetyThere are thousands of bottled waters Higher Plastic packaging and transportation is heavier than tap water Environmental cost..

Despite the need for safe water and the myriad of pollutants that can contaminate it, a widely available way for anyone to quickly, cheaply and accurately test the safety of their water. there is no.

Almost 50 years ago, the same was true for pregnancy tests. Early advertising A home pregnancy test claimed that women had the “right to know” if they were pregnant “with minimal noise and annoyance in a minimum amount of time.” This also applies to the quality of drinking water.

Current water safety tests are still difficult for most people to use, so the goal is to make them as easy to use as pregnancy tests and easy to deploy in homes, day care centers and schools.

As a professor at Northwestern University studying ways to ensure water safety for all, we are working to democratize water quality testing through development. New kind of test For fast, cheap and accurate drinking water.When Quantification of global water anxiety..

The aim is to implement this new water quality test in a format that is easy for non-scientists to use. Affordable and delivering results in less than an hour to those who need it most. This technology is not yet ready for sale. There’s still a lot to do to ensure that lead testing is maximally user-friendly.

These tests are different because they utilize the power of sensors that naturally occur from biology.Use tools from early disciplines Synthetic biology, The sensor is Programmed It changes color when the chemical in question is in water.

Because these sensors work outside the cells, they can be lyophilized into small white chunks of shelf-stable food. These sensors are ready to indicate water pollution with a drop of water and do not need to be used in complex laboratory equipment.

These tests can be used to quickly detect lead, copper, arsenic, and fluoride in water, with more objects to analyze on the horizon.Northwest Spin-off company One of us co-founded Detect COVID-19 In sewage.

Potential uses include lead testing for millions of Americans living in areas such as: Lead service line Plumb water from the city to their home.This is important for many Children Unknowingly exposed Lifelong harm Of lead poisoning.

Arsenic tests are valuable to millions of people around the world facing naturally occurring arsenic. Groundwater..a test of E. coli Useful in millions of emergencies, etc. Texas Notice about boiling water in February Mississippi Recently, I am facing a daily water crisis.

just in case, Most drinking water It’s safe in America.Municipal water treatment plant mainly It does a good job of testing and treating standard pollutants such as: E. coli, However, this may not be enough. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency has over 100 “Newly Concerned PollutantsAre potentially harmful pollutants, most of which have not been screened at all.

Pollutants can also be introduced after the water has left the treatment plant. For example, if you have a lead service line that connects your city’s supply to your home. Washington DC, And Chicago.. further, 42 million Americans It relies on well water, but this has been rarely tested.

For these reasons, it is important to understand the quality of the water before drinking it and to know if filtration is needed and, if so, what type of filter to use.

The field of rapid water diagnosis is in it Early stageHowever, there are great expectations for democratizing knowledge about the safety of substances essential to the health and well-being of the United States and the world. Knowledge is powerful and changes.Empirical evidence Investigating lead pollution in Flint, Michigan was the key to gaining worldwide attention for fraud there.

The world’s water quality is endangered by a variety of catastrophes, both invisible and unmissable. Infrastructure failure, Large-scale fire, Sewage overflows, Agricultural outflow And Chemicals forever Spray in unexpected places.

Given the very real risks of drinking contaminated water, accurate knowledge of water quality is essential for both action and advocacy. This requires a cheap, fast and reliable home inspection method that anyone can use.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/whats-really-in-your-water/ What is really in your water?

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