Menu Close

Articles on heavy metals

Displaying all articles

One study found that 95% of baby foods tested contained at least one heavy metal. Plume Creative via Getty Images

How safe is your baby food?

Reports from baby food companies show questionable levels of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals. Here's what parents need to know.
Phil / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Ban on toxic mercury looms in sugar cane farming, but Australia still has a way to go

Australia has failed to ratify an international treaty to reduce harmful mercury emissions. Mercury exposure can cause kidney damage and brain impairment, especially in children.
The January 2019 collapse of a dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, sent mining tailings and mud over the landscape for miles, destroying this bridge and killing 300 people. Andre Penner/AP

Mine waste dams threaten the environment, even when they don’t fail

Dams built to hold enormous quantities of toxic mining waste have a long history of spills. Decisions in the Pacific Northwest threaten three free-flowing rivers there.
Water purification at a modern urban wastewater treatment plant involves removing undesirable chemicals, suspended solids and gases from contaminated water. arhendrix/Shutterstock.com

Microwaving sewage waste may make it safe to use as fertilizer on crops

The solids from wastewater plants are usually dumped into landfills because they are contaminated with heavy metals. Now there is a way to remove the metals so the waste can be used as fertilizer.
A harmful algal bloom in the western basin of Lake Erie in August 2017. (NOAA/Aerial Associates Photography, Inc. by Zachary Haslick/flickr)

Great Lakes waters at risk from buried contaminants and new threats

The Great Lakes contain reservoirs of legacy contaminants, mostly in their sediments, that are vulnerable to resuspension.
Honey can carry clues about where pollutants come from. (Shutterstock)

How clean is your city? Just ask the bees

Urban pollutants are a health concern in growing cities. Scientists are turning to honey bees to help monitor contaminants in soil, water, air and plants.
Shown as bright orange and pink highlights under X-ray fluorescent light, birds incorporate metals like zinc and bromine into feathers as they grow. Nature Scientific Reports

Hidden feather patterns tell the story of birds

Ordinary grey bird feathers placed under X-ray fluorescence reveal beautiful patterns of elements like zinc, telling a story of feather growth and the environments the birds have experienced.

Top contributors

More