Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has developed a
portable kit for detection of Chromium contamination of water.
Chromium, which is widely used in industries such as
leather, steel, chrome plating, paint manufacturing and wood preservation,
is one of the major effluents found in water in several parts of the
Hexavalent Chromium Cr (VI) is toxic and the World Health
Organisation has classified it as carcinogenic, adding that its presence in
water can cause stomach ulcers and cancers and severe damage to kidneys and
While the existing imported kit for on-site detection of
chromium (VI) costs about Rs. 100/sample, analysis using the BARC kit will
The portable kit involves adding a specified amount of
specific reagents to the water sample and identifying the developed colour.
The colour develops within 5 minutes and the distinction can be made with
the naked eye. For ease of comparison, a colour chart is provided with the
According to IS10500 standards for drinking water, the
maximum permissible concentration of Cr(VI) in drinking water is 50
microgram per litre. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a
lower permissible concentration of 10 microgram per litre.