From: Michael Reilly, Discovery News
Published April 27, 2009 10:25 AM

Sea Shells Used to Clean Up Heavy Metals

On the banks of the Saigon River in Vietnam, researchers have just completed tests on a new way to combat water pollution that could save millions of lives in coastal cities throughout the developing world.

In factories on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Stephan Kohler of the Graz University of Technology in Austria and a team of researchers have cleansed water tainted with toxic metals like cadmium, zinc, lead and iron. And they've done it using nothing but one of the cheapest, most abundant material around: seashells.

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Like many developing countries, Vietnam is plagued by poor water quality -- millions of the country's inhabitants still lack access to clean drinking water, largely because local companies can't afford expensive filtration systems to treat wastewater.

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