Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Aquatic plants solution to arsenic contamination


Aquatic plants solution to arsenic contamination

A HortResearch scientist thinks that aquatic plants may provide an answer to a global problem of arsenic-contaminated drinking water.

While searching for plants that have the potential to remove arsenic from contaminated soil, scientist Dr Brett Robinson from Palmerston North discovered that most aquatic plants accumulated this element to concentrations of up to 3000 parts per million of arsenic. The plants were taken from geothermal regions around Taupo and Rotorua as well as the Waikato River.

Dr Robinson said, "This was an extraordinary find, and quite disturbing as people eat watercress. The water itself was found to have less than 0.1 parts per million. Fortunately, watercress from uncontaminated streams that have no geothermal inflows is safe to eat."

Arsenic is naturally occurring in some rocks and geothermal water dissolves considerable amounts. The researchers collected aquatic plants such as parrot's feather, hornwort, watercress, willow weed and other oxygen weeds.

"We would like to find out how these aquatic plants accumulate arsenic, and whether they could be used to remove arsenic from drinking water. This may be a low-cost means of improving public health in countries like Bangladesh and West Bengal in India, where there are high levels of arsenic in the water that can result in widespread poisoning," said Dr Robinson.

Arsenic is a poisonous element that is persistent in the environment. In New Zealand, arsenic is a significant problem at an estimated 10,000 former sheep dip sites as well as in geothermal water, and even in sawdust and wood shavings from treated timber.

Words 257

For further information contact Brett Robinson, HortResearch Palmerston North Tel: +64-6-356 8080, Fax: +64-6-354 6731 Email: brobinson@hortresearch.co.nz

Paula McCool Writer Public Relations & Communications HortResearch Palmerston North tel 06 356 8080 extn 7785

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Our Fresh Water: Monitoring Report Confirms Serious Challenges For Rivers

• nitrogen levels are getting worse at 55 percent and getting better at 28 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand • phosphorus levels are getting better at 42 percent and getting worse at 25 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand More>>

ALSO:

Stats: Wind And Geothermal Emerge As Significant Sources Of Energy

Geothermal’s contribution to New Zealand’s total renewable energy generation increased from 11.5 percent in 2007 to 21 percent in 2015.... The value of wind jumped from $238 million (2 percent of total renewable energy generation) in 2007 to $884 million (6 percent) in 2015. More>>

Errors Found: Electricity Authority Dumps Transmission Pricing Modelling

The Electricity Authority is ditching the cost-benefit analysis at the heart of its controversial attempt to find a new way to divide up costs for the national grid after finding an expanding range of serious computational errors in the work by Australian consultancy Oakley Greenwood. More>>

ALSO:

New Record: Migrant Arrivals At 129,500 A Year

Annual net migration has been steadily increasing since 2012. "This was mainly due to the rising number of migrant arrivals to New Zealand," population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. "Fewer migrant departures also contributed to the increase in net migration." More>>

ALSO:

Launched: NASA's Super Pressure Balloon Takes Flight From NZ

NASA successfully launched its football-stadium-sized, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at10:50 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 (6:50 p.m. April 24 in U.S. Eastern Time), on a mission designed to run 100 or more days floating at 110,000 feet (33.5 km) about the globe in the southern hemisphere's mid-latitude band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news