In 1986, the world’s worst nuclear disaster so far took place in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The heavy blast caused a disaster whose effects continued through decades. Agricultural lands in a 30 km radius were contaminated, as well as contaminating huge areas in Europe and Asia through rainfall. Still today, people living nearby need to monitor their food and water for radiation.
“Research has been carried out with Industrial hemp, near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, where a great deal of agricultural land is still unusable because of the presence of radiation and heavy metals still lingering from the 1986 meltdown.”
The cannabis plant has a huge list of uses. It can replace almost anything that can be produced with petroleum. It’s seen as a miracle plant with number of benefits for patients with various illnesses. Yet it has another benefit: removing toxic metals and radiation from the soil. Its unique biological attributes allow it to remove heavy metals and radiation from the soil and deploy it in its leaves.
“The process of using plants to clean polluted soil is called phytoremediation. Cannabis has shown some promise because of its hardiness to toxins and quick growth rates. Some have even considered using it near Fukushima. Hemp is proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants that have been studied.
The Belarusian scientists noted that one added benefit of industrial hemp over other phytoremediation plants is that it can also be used to produce biofuel, potentially adding a second use for the crop after it removes toxins from the soil.
“As with the Chernobyl incident, scientists are finding radioactive emissions and toxic metals –including iodine, cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium–concentrated in the soil, plants, and animals of Japan, but also now throughout the United States and all along the West Coast – from Canada to Mexico.
Chernobyl may seem distant, but the EPA estimates that there are more than 30,000 sites requiring hazardous waste treatment throughout the U.S. including Hanford and Three Mile Island. Phytoremediation with industrial hemp could be used at many of these sites.”