Pollen and spores can decontaminate water, experts find

The huge surface areas of pollen and spores can be used to trap and remove pollutants from water, according to the results of a European research project.

As revealed yesterday at a conference of the American Chemical Society, the tiny grains can be converted to have sponge-like properties, a property that also removes their ability to induce allergic reactions.

"Even very low levels of certain compounds, such as hormones, pharmaceuticals or those in household and personal care products, can cause toxic effects. However, they often can escape normal cleanup processes at wastewater treatment plants," said University of Hull senior lecturer Andrew Boa.

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