The sheer variety and volume of chemicals that are used in our industrial processes today is unprecedented. We owe to them a great deal of thanks for our manufacturing potency, but they can be extremely damaging – hence our need for chemical spill kits, in Australia and around the world, to guard against injury and ecological damage.
Care is vital, but remediation methods are also vital. We haven’t always been so careful, and as we have noticed around many of our older industrial areas, the ground and the water can be toxic, a result of years of poor practice. Cleaning these areas is one of the tasks that this generation has been saddled with. Luckily, we are finding some convenient solutions.
The natural world, especially our aquatic plants, have been noted for their filtering skills. In many areas, the creation of marshes, and planting of such plants, has aided us in removing many toxic entities from a water supply, while simultaneously improving a given area’s ability to resist floods.
One of the most notable of these plants is home grown. According to researchers at the University of Technology Sydney, the harsh climate of the Australian continent breeds plant life that is used to sustaining itself in difficult situations. And not only in cases of chemical or oil contamination – the humble sunflower, when grown around the infamous nuclear plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, actually gathered radioactive nucleotides in their yellow folds.
Perhaps, in the future, chemical spill kits can act as the quick remediation, while these helpful plants can serve long-term interests. Time, and research, will tell us more.