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A sensitive field test for heavy metals in water

October 26, 1948

A semiquantitative colorimetric analytical method using dithizone to detect traces of heavy metals in natural water is described. Although reagents of exceptional purity are required, only simple equipment is needed and the test can be made in a few minutes in the field. A combined mixed color and mono color technique makes the test suitable for a wide range of concentrations. The test is very sensitive; as little as 0.01 part per million of either copper, lead, zinc or any combination of the three metals can be detected readily.The dithizone test permits rapid field identification of drainage elements which contain significant concentrations of heavy metals. An example is given showing how the test can be used to trace the heavy metal content of a drainage system back to its source. It is possible that, under favorable conditions, the field test may facilitate prospecting by detecting metals discharged by the weathering of hidden ore bodies. However, until the method receives further investigation, it would be premature to predict its value.

Publication Year 1948
Title A sensitive field test for heavy metals in water
DOI 10.2113/gsecongeo.43.8.675
Authors Lyman C. Huff
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Economic Geology
Index ID 70215628
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse