Giving Compass' Take:
- Nepal may pivot to phytoremediation, or the use of plants and soil microbes to remove toxic contaminants in the environment.
- How can donors help find affordable and accessible ways for highly polluted areas to address environmental issues?
- Read why we need to do more about air pollution.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Phytoremediation, or the use of plants and soil microbes to remove toxic contaminants in the environment, may offer Nepal an affordable way to deal with heavy metals like lead, mercury as well as arsenic that are frequently found in the country’s soil and water, researchers say.
In a review, published July in Chemosphere, the researchers note that the global economic impact of heavy metal pollution is estimated at more than US$10 billion per year, with the risks and effects magnified in developing countries because of limited resources and treatment technologies.
According to Shukra Raj Paudel, corresponding author of the study and an associate professor at Nepal’s Tribhuvan University, phytoremediation can be adopted as a successful and eco-friendly remediation measure in today’s dynamic environment wherein heavy metal contamination has become a more significant issue.
“Phytoremediation uses plants for extracting, immobilising, containing, and degrading contaminants in soil, water, and air while preserving their biological and physical state,” Paudel explains. Some of the plants cited in the study include Indian mustard and alfalfa to combat lead, morning glory against copper, ladder brake and needle spikerush for arsenic, and common yarrow for mercury.
Read the full article about how plants in Nepal can help toxic metals at Eco-Business.