Skip to main content

WATCH LIVE: Trial of Derek Chauvin, charged with killing George Floyd — closing arguments (Posted 04/19/21 at 7:21 a.m.)

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Radioactivity Cured By A Capsule

Scientists discover a method to render radioactive materials harmless in drinking water, beverages.

Scientists have discovered a way to remove radioactive material from water, milk, fruit juices and baby formula.

Allen Apblett led the research team at Oklahoma State University. The results of his research were discussed today at a chemists' convention in San Diego today.

Apblett said he was experimenting with methods of removing uranium and heavy metals from drinking water. His team was also looking at ways to mine the ocean for uranium. But in the wake of the 2011 tsunami that damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, the research shifted to find ways to make food and water safe for consumption in case of disaster.

Because uranium is not usually found without other ions, Apblett added those in the experimentation.

That's when he found that adding calcium and magnesium speeded up the absorption process of radioactive material.

"It made the reaction go much faster. And when it comes to treating milk and baby formula it's ideal because you remove the strontium and replace it with calcium which is good for us anyway," Apblett said.

While the technology can be used large-scale in factories, it is also being designed for use in home kitchens as a capsule that can be dropped in as drink.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.