Volume reduction of water samples to increase sensitivity for radioassay of lead contamination

Aguilar-Arevalo, A, Canet, C, Cruz-Pérez, M A, Deisting, A, Dias, A, D’Olivo, J C, Favela-Pérez, F, Garcés, E A, González Muñoz, A, Guerra-Pulido, J O, Mancera-Alejandrez, J, Marín-Lámbarri, D J, Martinez Montero, M, Monroe, J R, Paling, S, Peeters, S J M, Scovell, P R, Türkoğlu, C, Vázquez-Jáuregui, E and Walding, J (2022) Volume reduction of water samples to increase sensitivity for radioassay of lead contamination. Applied Water Science, 12 (7). a151 1-11. ISSN 2190-5487

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) presents an upper limit for lead in drinking water of 10 parts per billion ppb. Typically, to reach this level of sensitivity, expensive metrology is required. To increase the sensitivity range of low-cost devices, this paper explores the prospects of using a volume reduction technique of a boiled water sample doped with Lead-210 (210 Pb), as a means to increase the solute’s concentration. 210Pb is a radioactive lead isotope and its concentration in a water sample can be measured with e.g. High Purity Germanium (HPGe) detectors at the Boulby Underground Germanium Suite. Concentrations close to the WHO limit have not been examined. This paper presents a measurement of the volume reduction technique retaining 99±(9)% of 210Pb starting from a concentration of 1.9×10−6 ppb before reduction and resulting in 2.63×10−4 ppb after reduction. This work also applies the volume reduction technique to London tap water and reports the radioassay results from gamma counting in HPGe detectors. Among other radio-isotopes, 40K, 210Pb, 131I and 177Lu were identified at measured concentrations of 2.83×103 ppb, 2.55×10−7 ppb, 5.06×10−10 ppb and 5.84×10−10 ppb in the London tap water sample. This technique retained 90±50% of 40K. Stable lead was inferred from the same water sample at a measured concentration of 0.012 ppb, prior to reduction.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 07:15
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 07:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/105902

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