AMHERST, Mass. – Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed plastics containing “smart elements” that can instantly detect the presence of mercury at or below the drinking water standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, even when other metals are present in the solution.
“Mercury poisoning remains a significant threat to human health, and global mercury emissions continue to rise from incineration of solid waste and the combustion of fossil fuels,” says Gregory Tew, a professor of polymer science and engineering. “We used smart polymers to create inexpensive, portable and easy-to-use sensors that are a big improvement over current industrial approaches that use sophisticated equipment not suitable for field measurements.”
Read more HERE.