Could seaweed clean up DDT?
Could seaweed clean up DDT?Adding small amounts of seaweed to contaminated soil could prove to be a natural and effective way of breaking down the toxic pesticide DDT, according to new research in the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. A British biologist, Ian Singleton, worked with colleagues in Australia and Thailand to find the right formula to use. Too much seaweed hindered biodegradation, but the most effective mix - 0.5% seaweed added to waterlogged soil - managed to remove 80% of the DDT present over six weeks, lowering the levels of DDT enough to pass Australian Environment Protection Authority criteria.
Why it is necessary
Why it works
The authors suggest that the seaweed method "has potential" in accelerating DDT clean-up: "it would work best in small areas where DDT has been accidentally spilled or added to soil rather than being applied on a large scale, as the process has to be controlled and monitored."
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