Researchers at Dukes Pratt School of Engineering have developed a new way to measure microbes exposure to ultraviolet light. The tool could bolster efforts to use UV light to improve the quality and safety of tap water in the U.S.
The novel "microsphere dosimeter" technique is the first direct test of how much UV light microorganisms in fluids have been exposed to, said the researchers -- a critical step in validating the use of UV light treatment for preventing the spread of infection through drinking water. The technique was reported in the Nov. 15, 2005, issue of Environmental Science and Technology by Karl Linden and colleagues.
Lindens technique uses fluorescent microspheres, which become bleached with exposure to UV light, to mimic pathogenic microbes in water flowing through a UV reactor. By measuring the bleaching of the microspheres, the researchers can obtain precise measures of the full distribution of UV doses that a pathogen may experience -- information critical for gauging the treatments capacity to kill disease-causing bacteria or parasites before they reach the public.
Kendall Morgan | EurekAlert!
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