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Researchers Find Lithium in Drinking in Korea

Lithium from batteries that power smartphones, tablets, and EVs might contaminate tap water, Korean research suggests.

Consuming water can contain lithium slightly because the mineral happens naturally in the Earth’s crust and soil and water bodies. But even with the rapid rise of consumer electronics powered by lithium batteries lately, research to date hasn’t provided a clear picture of how much manufacturing and disposal of these products may increase lithium ranges in drinking water, the study team notes in Nature Communications.

For the current study, researchers examined water from the Han river, where it runs by Seoul as well as upstream before it reaches the metropolitan area.

Upstream, lithium levels had been low, and much like what’s found naturally in many river bodies, the research found. However, where the Han river ran via Seoul, lithium levels within the water had been up to six times higher than upstream.

The outcomes recommend that lithium levels in water could also be associated with population density and that waste-water treatment crops aren’t currently efficient at removing it from drinking water, the study team finds.

Researchers examined the water to determine the possible sources of lithium contamination.

They found that lithium entering the Han river appears to go from lithium-ion batteries that energy devices like smartphones and tablets. Pharmaceutical waste – lithium is designated for specific psychiatric disorders – and meals waste – lithium enters sure produce from soil and water.