Flame Photometry & Water Analysis
How Hazardous is our Environment?
Sodium and potassium salts occur everywhere on Earth. In most locales they are sufficiently dispersed that they present no health hazard. They are also present in the majority of water supplies, either natural or managed. The use of pesticides, potassium permanganate (WHO List of Essential Medicines), and water softeners has impacted the Water Quality Index (WQI) in many areas. Runoffs from farming, industrial processes, and household uses artificially increase the levels. Other factors such as people flushing unneeded or expired prescriptions down the toilet instead of taking them back to the pharmacy for proper disposal can also influence the water system. For example, this probably accounts for much of the increase in lithium levels in urban water supplies.