Researchers at Stockholm University discovered that the moss Warnstofia fluitans, found in northern Sweden, has the ability to remove arsenic from water. This finding is especially useful considering that northern Sweden has an arsenic problem mostly prevalent in mining towns. Other instances include the arsenic found in plants from the irrigation water. Following their research, scientists concluded that after one hour the moss can remove enough arsenic to make the water safe for drinking/other uses. The moss can surprisingly remove 80% of the arsenic in an hour!
This article presents a clever way to remove a contaminant from water! Plus, the arsenic doesn’t harm the moss in the process, which makes it an even more desirable treatment for drinking water. Using this Swedish moss is a quick and safe way to make the water clean.
Although this article was recently posted only two weeks ago, I would really like to see the United States have access to this moss or grow it here. A question for further research is the cost of the moss and how much it would be to import from Sweden. After my personal digging, I was unable to find either of these numbers.
High arsenic levels also impact many states our own country, besides just Sweden. For example, several southwestern states have tested high for arsenic levels in water. Unfortunately most of the places where arsenic is found in the U.S. are too poor to have filtration systems, so the problem continues. Vulnerable cities are forced to shut down when a water crisis happens or there is contamination because they lack a quick solution. Introducing the Swedish moss would be an efficient way to solve the water crisis across the board!
Reading this article made me wonder what other local plants might be able to take up arsenic. I’m pretty sure a moss from northern Sweden would not survive anywhere in the southwestern U.S.