Synthetic Compound Shows Promise For Decontaminating Farmland in Japan

March 24, 2015
Discovery could aid regional agriculture, which has suffered since the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011.

Scientists may have found a way to decontaminate farmland in Japan affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, according to an article at The Verge. A team from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science has identified a chemical compound that prevents a plant native to Japan from absorbing harmful radioactive elements.

The synthetic compound CsTolen A was selected to decontaminate a common mustard weed and was shown to significantly increase the plant’s tolerance for radioactive forms of cesium, an element that inhibits plant growth. Record amounts of radioactive cesium, which can increase cancer risks in humans at high exposure, have been found in groundwater since the Fukushima disaster and regional agriculture in the area has suffered, according to the article.

Read the entire article here.

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