Engineers discover a new use for tampons: as pollution detectors!

Although we all know that pollution from sewers is generally bad for ecosystems, actually figuring out if there is a wastewater leak can be challenging. Because of their ubiquitous use in household products, finding optical brighteners (“OBs”: chemicals found in shampoo and other soaps, and even toilet paper) in streams and rivers can be used as a sign of wastewater pollution. However, because these compounds are so commonly used, finding absorbent materials that don’t have them makes using opti

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