Apr 17, 2018

Researchers Discover Moss Capable of Removing Arsenic from Drinking Water

The team of researchers from Stockholm University hope that implementing the moss in waterways can improve drinking water quality and food quality

moss improves drinking water quality and removes arsenic

Researchers from Stockholm University have discovered a moss capable of removing arsenic from drinking water, which acts so quickly that arsenic contamination in water samples reaches potable levels in just under one hour. The aquatic moss is called Warnstofia fluitans and grows in northern Sweden, according to the study published in the Journal of Environmental Pollution. The researchers hope that the moss can be implemented in streams and waterways with high levels of arsenic to naturally absorb the pollutant and improve drinking water quality.

“We hope that the plant-based wetland system that we are developing will solve the arsenic problem in Sweden’s northern mining areas,” said Maria Greger, lead researcher on the study.

The study found that the moss took no more than an hour to remove up to 80% of the arsenic contamination from standing water. In Sweden, arsenic contamination is a common problem for drinking water quality and even food quality because of mining in northern Sweden that leaches arsenic into the waterways, drinking water and irrigation water. The irrigation water then impacts the quality of food, reported Science Daily.

“How much arsenic we consume ultimately depends on how much of these foods we eat, as well as how and where they were grown,” Greger said. “Our aim is that the plant-based wetland system we are developing will filter out the arsenic before the water becomes drinking water and irrigation water. That way, the arsenic will not make it into our food.”