Research and analysis

An assessment of the feasibility of using diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) procedures to measure trace metals and radionuclides in rivers

The aims of the research were to develop diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) into a practical device and to establish its feasibility for measuring several metals in freshwater, including cadmium and mercury.


An Assessment of the Feasibility of Using DGT Procedures to Measure Trace Metals and Radionuclides in Rivers

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (eg a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


The development of quality standards and risk assessments protocols for the impacts of metals in contaminated waters is hampered by the absence of a simple chemical diagnostic for potential metal toxicity. Measurements of total metals are inappropriate because toxicity depends on the availability of the metal to the biota, and hence the amount of free or weakly bound metal. There is a requirement for a device capable of acting as a surrogate for bioavailable metal.