Snails monitor air pollution in Russia

2011-01-18 20:23

Saint Petersburg - A Russian waterworks has recruited giant African snails to act as living sensors to monitor air pollution from a sewage incinerator, the company said on Tuesday.

The waterworks is using six snails as an innovative way to monitor pollution from a incinerator that burns sewage residue on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg, the Vodokanal state utilities company said in a statement.

The Achatina snails, which reach 20cm in length and are widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa, were chosen because "they have lungs and breathe air like humans", the company said.

The snails have been fitted with heart monitors and motion sensors while breathing smoke from the plant and their readings will be compared with a control group, waterworks spokesperson Oksana Popova told AFP.

While living organisms are frequently used to monitor pollution, an expert dismissed the use of snails to monitor the controversial incinerator as a publicity stunt.

"Burning sludge emits toxic dioxins," said Dmitry Artamonov, who heads the the Saint Petersburg office of Greenpeace environmental campaigning group

"I don't know if snails get cancer, but even if they do, it won't happen straight away, and we will not hear about it from Vodokanal."

Artamonov said that last year Vodokanal refused Greenpeace access when activists wanted to take a water sample at the sewage treatment facility, which is one of the biggest in the country.

Read more on:    greenpeace  |  russia  |  environment  |  pollution
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are on form and you may like an audience to share your ideas and concepts with. Drama and creativity flavour your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.