Major health organizations agree that optimally fluoridated water helps prevent tooth decay without posing risks to people’s health. While water fluoridation is common practice in a number of countries, too much of fluoride can actually have adverse effect on health, especially in children. Although high concentrations of fluoride can harm human health, fluoride contamination in water affects a number of developing countries and even parts of developed countries. The main reason for that is because defluoridation is a difficult and expensive process that requires a well-equipped chemical lab.
To solve this problem, scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have developed a device that can allow officials to detect those overly-high levels in only few drops of water. This method is easier and cheaper than ever before because it is portable, less expensive than current methods and can be deployed on-site by virtually anyone.
The device is named after SION-105, the novel material that had been used to design the device, and that belongs to the family of “metal-organic frameworks” (MOFs), compounds made up of a metal ion.
This user-friendly device doesn’t require any chemical expertise. It is luminescent by default, but darkens when exposed to fluoride ions. By adding a few drops of?water?and monitoring the color change of the MOF one can say whether it is safe to drink the water or not.
The scientists have now filed a patent application for it after the performance and reliability of SION-105 have been confirmed.