Moss can effectively cleanse water of toxins: a new discovery
If you get lost in the forest and you are thirsty, then you can clean running water from a stream and make it drinkable with a variety of different devices - from a homemade sand and coal filter to special camping equipment and chlorine pills. But now scientists have further simplified the task: it turned out that some types of moss can also be used as excellent natural filters.
Natural remedy for arsenic poisoning
The moss that interests us is called Warnstorfia fluitans . It grows mainly in Swedish swamps, the waters of which are often full of arsenic - a by-product of the nearest mining processing complexes. According to a study published in the journal Environmental Pollution, scientists found that moss surprisingly quickly extracts all of the arsenic from the water to a level at which liquid can be drunk!
Iron mines in northern Sweden have long been the reason that most of the water is contaminated with arsenic. Moreover, hygrophilous plants also suffer - for example, rice on Swedish plantations, along with water, also absorbs and accumulates a dangerous substance, after which it becomes unfit for food. Researchers at Stockholm University believe that the targeted planting of moss in wetlands will help reduce toxins in the water and make it cleaner.
In order to test their theory, scientists conducted a series of tests. To do this, they started in water, the concentration of arsenic in which exceeded the maximum permissible by 10 times - by drinking such a solution, you can earn severe poisoning. As it turned out, the moss took only an hour (!) To absorb 82% of the arsenic contained in the water! Further studies, however, showed that higher concentrations of arsenic, as well as the fact that it accumulates over time in moss fibers, make filtration not so fast and efficient. This approach is much closer to reality - and nevertheless, scientists are optimistic, because it turned out that in the end, moss can absorb 1000 times more arsenic than the maximum EPA before any signs of poisoning are detected in the plant itself.
As expected, arsenic binds to moss tissues, which neutralizes it. This allows you to interrupt the "toxic" cycle: in Sweden there are very few animals that feed on raw moss, so there is no need to worry about the further spread of the toxin. Of course, it will take a while before scientists move from laboratory tests to practical crops. However, for Swedes (especially those living in rural areas), their work can turn into a real panacea, because it is the cheapest and at the same time very effective way to clean water from toxins.