Water scare a boost for improved brass
AUSTRALIAN scientists have invented a new form of brass that could eliminate the risk of lead contamination in water.
But they haven’t been able to raise the money to get it in the hands of industry — a mere $70,000.
One of the brains behind the breakthrough said last week’s revelations about the dangers of lead-laced brass might be the turning point.
“Until the media storm kicked up from that article, we’ve been hearing crickets,” said University of NSW materials scientist Dr Kevin Law.
Last week households were officially warned to run taps for 30 seconds in the morning before using water for drinking or cooking amid growing concern about lead poisoning.
Dr Law’s team developed a new brass alloy, which contains no lead but retains the properties that it gives — such as machinability — without being more expensive.
Dr Law said if they could find an extra $70,000 it would pay for six months’ work by a researcher “to get this out of our hands and into industry’s for large-scale trials”.