Bomb shelters

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

It is dangerous and expensive to reclaim munition sites (dumping sites for disused ammunition). However, John Huges of George R Brown University in Houston, Texas, us, has unveiled the potential of plants -- parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) and periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) to mop up chemical contamination from soil. Huges believes that within 10 years these plants will routinely be used to clean up soil contaminated with explosive chemicals, as they can break them down safely. The plants can degrade and process explosives such as nitroglycerine and trinitrotoluene in their cellular compartments called vacuoles (Environmental Science and Technology, Vol 31).

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