The source of pollutants in rivers and freshwater lakes can now be identified using a comprehensive new water quality analysis, according to scientists at the University of Cambridge and Trent University, Canada.

Microparticles from car tyres, pesticides from farmers’ fields, and toxins from harmful algal blooms are just some of the organic chemicals that can be detected using the new approach, which also indicates the impact these chemicals are likely to have in a particular river or lake.

Importantly, the approach can also point to the origin of specific organic matter dissolved in the water, because it has a distinct composition depending on its source. The approach uses a technique called high-resolution mass spectrometry to analyse water samples: within an hour this provides a comprehensive overview of all the organic molecules present.  Read more at: University of Cambridge

Source: ENN

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