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Egg Shells Used to Detect Metals Acting as River Pollutants

15 July 2013

COLOMBIA - Egg shells - available in large quantities in Columbia - are being used by scientists in Antioquia for the absorption of heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, zinc, lead etc. that contaminate rivers.

Researchers from the University of Antioquia and Tecnológico de Antioquia are studying waters, which are not only contaminated by heavy metals, but by organic and pharmacological wastes as well, and are observing the possibilities of using egg shells and sawdust as filters for wetlands, in order to evaluate the adsorption of drugs or other organic waste contaminants.

"The eggshells adsorb these metals in the surface waters thereby achieving remedy," said Natalia Andrea Mendoza, a member of the research group Molecular Studies Interdisciplinary Group (GIEM) from Antioquia University and head researcher of the project.

The researchers aim to filter out metals through eggshells and sawdust before they reach the wetlands and microorganisms decompose into organic waste and other water pollutants.

The problem of waste and its use in the treatment of water and soil is a concern shared by researchers from universities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Chile and Spain - members of the Latin American Network of Utilization of Industrial Waste Water Treatment and Contaminated Land.

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