This study was performed in China, where there is a very high level of toxic heavy metal residue from less regulated industries and coal-burning energy plants. The necessity of removing heavy metal toxins from waste water is more vital in China than most other regions.
Waterways and water used for agricultural irrigation has been overwhelmed by heavy metals from relatively unregulated industries and coal-burning energy plants that have been rushed into production to accommodate China’s rapid economic and industrial growth.
Prior to this spirulina lead removal study, other studies were done with positive results using spirulina powder and live algae in aqueous solutions of other heavy metals. These studies using live algae biomass for biosorption of heavy metals rather than merely collecting it have been performed to address the drawbacks of removing toxins with synthetic chemicals.