The Role of Optical Brighteners in the Detection of Local Anthropogenic Pollution
Lukiana Anka-Lufford '10 and Judy Halstead, Department of Chemistry
Optical brighteners are now extremely common in laundry detergents. Since wastewater from laundry machines generally contains these dyes and fluorescence is relatively easy to detect, the use of optical brighteners to detect leaking septic tanks and leaking sewage systems seems promising. We are investigating the potential for the use of fluorescence spectroscopy in the detection of optical brighteners in natural waters in conjunction with our ongoing water quality field study of the Saratoga Lake-Kayaderosseras Creek watershed. In the laboratory both standards containing laundry detergent and field samples are analyzed with the Skidmore Department of Chemistry's Shimadzu scanning spectrofluorimeter in an effort to determine the presence of optical brighteners.
Full report is not available. Please contact Judy Halstead for more information.