Study determines plants could absorb hormones before they hit water supply
Article By: Stacy Brannan, Published: December 16, 2009
Chin and Card are looking specifically a form of estrogen called estradiol and a chemical called zeranol that mimics the behavior of estrogen in our bodies. It's often administered to livestock to induce them to grow. Early data look promising.
"Preliminary data show that a small group of poplar trees reduce the concentration of zeranol by 80% in just four days," Card explains. "That's in a hydroponics system with no soil. It will be different when some of the compound absorbs into soil, but the poplars are turning out to be really efficient at picking up the zeranol."
In addition to poplar trees, Chin and Card are planning to look at corn, switch grass, and a yet-to-be-determined aquatic plant. "We'd like to see the chemicals progress from a crop plant into a riparian zone-the interface between land and a stream-and into an aquatic system," Card says.
To read more about this Ohio Sea Grant-funded research, visit http://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/_documents/twineline/v31i4.pdf
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