Researchers at Oklahoma State University have developed nanoparticle materials that can remove a range of contaminants from liquids including milk and juice. Such materials could provide a vital resource following disasters such as the breakdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant last year.
One of the major environmental contaminants following Fukushima was radioactive strontium. Radioactive strontium readily accumulates in humans through the consumption of contaminated milk and can lead to diseases such as bone cancer and leukemia. However nanoparticles containing calcium tungstate, can absorb the strontium be exchanging it with harmless calcium.
It is envisioned that strontium contaminated milk, for example, could be made safe to drink by adding a porous cartridge containing nanoparticles at night and then removing it in the morning leaving the milk safe to drink.
Other nanoparticles have also been designed to remove arsenic, uranium and other heavy metals from liquids.
More information can be found here (Chemical & Engineering News article by Bethany Halford)