The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Science Voice » Monthly - November 3, 2015
Environment
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Keeping Tabs on Heavy Metals
   
Researchers from the West Pomeranian University of Technology in the northwestern city of Szczecin have found new ways of determining the concentrations of heavy metal ions in liquids used in industrial production.

Heavy metals are harmful pollutants and a dangerous component of waste. They may contaminate surface, ground and waste waters as well as liquids used in industrial production. Water is most often contaminated with heavy metals such as lead, copper, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Heavy metals do not undergo degradation under the influence of either chemical or microbial factors. Most are toxic. If they penetrate into the bodies of animals or humans, they may damage the liver, blood vessels, heart, nervous system and bones.

The new methods for determining the concentrations of heavy metal ions have been developed by a team of West Pomeranian University of Technology researchers led by Monika Għsiorowska, Ph.D., and Jacek Soroka, Ph.D. The methods are simple to use and inexpensive. They are also accurate and make it possible to detect even very low concentrations of heavy metals.

The new methods are intended for use in manufacturing plants whose products are vulnerable to contamination with heavy metals. They are also expected to attract the interest of laboratories monitoring environmental pollution as well as those dealing with product quality control.

The innovative methods have made it into the finals of Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily newspaper’s Eureka! DGP competition, which seeks to promote innovative and promising Polish technologies.
Karolina Olszewska