Plants help reduce toxic mercury from atmosphere, reveals new study

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Plants absorb a huge amount of toxic mercury gas, a global pollutant that affects human and ecosystem health, in the atmosphere and help lowering the pollutant by depositing the dangerous substance into soils, said a new study.

The team from University of Massachusetts Lowell stated the process is similar to the absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by plants.

For the research, the team collected about 200 published studies with statistics on mercury levels in vegetation from several locations worldwide. Researchers found nearly 88% of the mercury found in plants originates from plants’ leaves absorbing gaseous mercury from the environment.