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Outbreaks of water-related diseases due to harmful chemical or biological contaminants continue to occur mostly in developing counties. Few outbreaks occured even in developed/industrialized counties. Based on the United Nations 2015 World Water Development Report, about 750 million people are still in lack accesses to 'improved water supply' nowadays.
The widespread use of asbestos cement pipes in distribution systems has raised numerous concerns. A study carried out in the UK found that some drinking waters can contain up to 1 million asbestos fibers per liter, with more than 95% of these being less than 2 μm in length (WRC, 1984). Few countries continue to install asbestos cement pipes, mainly because of the inhalation risks associated with working with the dry material. The use of new asbestos cement pipes has been banned in the UK since 2000, because of its health and safety risk.
Nitrate is the final stage of oxidation of ammonia and the mineralization of nitrogen from organic matter. Most of this oxidation in soil and water is achieved by nitrifying bacteria and can only occur in a well oxygenated environment. The same bacteria are active in percolating filters at sewage treatment works, resulting in large amounts of nitrate being discharged in sewage effluents. The use of nitrogenous fertilizers on the land can also give rise to increased nitrate concentrations in both surface and underground waters. Waters containing high nitrate concentrations are thought to be
potentially harmful to infants. Nitrite is the intermediate oxidation state between ammonia and nitrate and can be formed by the reduction of nitrates under conditions where there is a deficit of oxygen. Ingested nitrites, some of which may be formed by bacterial reduction of nitrates, can react with secondary and tertiary amines found in certain foods to give nitrosamines. This has given rise to concern as nitrosamines are potentially carcinogenic.
Turbidity affects the aesthetic quality of the water supplied. Consumers will notice significant changes when sediments are disturbed. Excessive dissolved air in tap water can cause consumer concerns over apparent turbidity even though there is no risk to health. In such situations, the water appears milky when in a glass but gradually clears from the bottom upwards.
Cyanide and cyanide complexes are only found in waters polluted by effluents from industrial or mining processes which uses cyanide. Most cyanides are biodegradable and should be removed by chemical treatment before an effluent is discharged into a receiving water. Chlorination to a free chlorine residual under neutral or alkaline conditions effectively decomposes any remaining cyanide that may be present in raw water.
Naturally occurring fluoride is found in varying concentrations in most drinking waters. Some deep groundwater in the US contain between 2 and 5 mg/l of fluoride and much higher concentrations are found in other parts of the world, especially in areas associated with fluoride-containing minerals. The levels of fluoride in drinking water have to be closely controlled as excessive amounts can lead to fluorosis, with resultant mottling of the teeth, and in extreme cases even skeletal damage. Blending is the preferred option if there is sufficient low fluoride water available; otherwise specialized treatment is required to remove excess fluoride.
We have advanced methods and instruments to verify the above mentioned chemicals. We have analytic instruments that can measure several parameters at the same time such as gas (GC) and liquid (LC) chromatography with different detectors such as flame ionization detector (FID), electron capture detector (ECD), mass spectrometry (MS), and ultraviolet detector (UV). We also have specialized techniques such as GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), ion chromatography (IC), etc.
Alfa Chemistry is professional in water impurity analysis and we can provide accurate and reliable tests results within the time constraint. We have conducted well water analysis, drinking water quality analysis, watersheds and rivers analysis and wastewater, stormwater, runoff analysis. Please feel free to contact us if you have any concern or would like us to perform any water chemicals testing. Check our instruments list to see our capabilities.