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New low-cost, nondestructive technology cuts risk from mercury hot spots
Date:10/25/2013

a new approach for remediation of mercury-contaminated soilsone that minimizes damage to contaminated ecosystems, and may significantly reduce costs relative to digging or dredging," said Ghosh, co-author on the study. Activated carbon can be spread on the surface of a contaminated sediment or soil, without physical disturbance, and left in place to mix into the sediment surface. Called "in-situ remediation," the use of sorbents like activated carbon has been proven to reduce the uptake of several other toxic pollutants. However, this is the first time activated carbon had been tested for mercury-contaminated soils.

The research group is now testing its effectiveness in the field at several Superfund sites across the country. If successful in the field, this approach of treating soil with activated carbon may be able to reduce the risk of mercury exposure in polluted sites and subsequent contamination of food webs.


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Contact: Kristen Minogue
minoguek@si.edu
443-482-2325
Smithsonian
Source:Eurekalert  

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