Problem

An impurity in water has an extinction coefficient of 3.45 * 103 M-1 cm-1 at 280 nm, its absorption maximum (A Closer Look, p. 576). Below 50 ppb, the impurity is not a problem for human health. Given that most spectrome- ters cannot detect absorbances less than 0.0001 with good reliability, is measuring the absorbance of a water sample at 280 nm a good way to detect concentrations of the impu- rity above the 50-ppb threshold?

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