READ THE STORY courtesy of Bill Hodges
Arsenic was long used for treating wood, but this was banned in consumer products in 2004 due to concerns over its toxicity. However, the element continues to pose a risk in many areas as deposits naturally occurring in the ground and bedrock can contaminate water as a result of mining operations. One such area where this occurs is northern Sweden, but now researchers have identified a moss there that can quickly remove the harmful substance and make the water safe to drink.
It's not just drinking from waterways contaminated with arsenic that poses a risk to humans because the substance is also absorbed by plants, either from the soil or from arsenic-contaminated water used for irrigation. This can lead to high levels of arsenic in everything from rice and leafy greens, to wheat and root vegetables.
Now researchers from Stockholm University have discovered an environmentally friendly way of removing arsenic from water in the form of the aquatic moss Warnstorfia fluitans. This moss is found in various countries around the world, including Sweden, and was found to have the ability to absorb and adsorb arsenic from water in a very short time.