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Public Lab Research note


Summary of Lionel Milberger’s Copper Test

by megan | April 03, 2012 02:24 03 Apr 02:24 | #1613 | #1613

Focus of test is on residential ambient air from a fraction of a ppm to <100ppm

Considerations:

• H2S is highly soluble in water and water vapor in air • Shortcoming of handheld instruments is that that do not measure the H2S dissolved in water vapors. These tests
are especially inaccurate at exposure levels < 100ppm, which are the levels of interest for this study. • H2S is heavier than air and thus gathers in low places • Specimens should not remain in the ambient air longer than three days, so as to minimize oxidation by the oxidation by the oxygen in the air. • Lionel says the Copper Rod Test is only a positive indication of the presence of H2S, it will not tell the exact amount or exact time of exposure, but the major advantage is that it is always “looking” and no
operator is required to be present. • Advantage of this test is the ability to accumulate dew, and register the H2S dissolved in water vapor. • H2S will impregnate all known sample containers: Glass, Plastic, Stainless Steel, ect.

Next Steps:

• Identify and quantify the exact copper-sulfur compounds present on the test specimens. • Correlate exposure patterns and amount of blackening to known concentrations of H2S over practical periods of time.

Questions:

• Can this test be quantifiable? Is it possible to match density of discoloration to a known quantity? If photographing in order to document, is there a way standardizing photos? Maybe a white paper that gets sent with kit so photo can be color corrected. • Is it worth testing other metals to see how they react
when exposed to H2S, steel, lead, iron ect.?

Applications to Photographic Paper Test:

• Can the photographic paper accumulate dew as well? • Specimens should not remain in the ambient air longer than three days, so as to minimize oxidation by the oxidation by the oxygen in the air. Is this true for the photographic paper as well.


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