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Contaminated Waters to Be Treated with Forest Debris and Crushed Shells

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The reason radioactive waste in water is so dangerous is because it kills any form of life, including humans in the end. With the risks nuclear reactors are posing in every country, a solution had to be found for waste to be extracted. Thanks to researchers at the University of North Carolina, a material has been found, which on top of everything is 100% natural: forest debris mixed with crushed crustacean shells.

One example of radioactive waste is the radioactive iodide which dissolves into drinking water. According to Dr. Joel Pawlak, associate professor of forest biomaterials, this is particularly tricky for us, since our body cannot make the difference from this and non-radioactive iodide. So you don’t have any symptoms until i’s too late: before you know it, the iodide builds up in the thyroid, causing cancer.

The new solid foam material has been proved to track radioactive iodide and heavy metals by making them bind. It then retains them to be thrown out in two ways, depending on the water quantity: either the “tea bag” method for smaller volumes of water – introducing it to absorb waste – or the “filter” method, having water poured through.

Since 2010, a “tea bag” of antimicrobial fibers has already been known to clear water instantly, but its power is limited, as it can’t pick on radioactive waste. Now, with this breakthrough so important for the present, whoever thought those sea shells for more than pretty souvenirs?

[via Treehugger]

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