Human hair used to clean up oil spill

A group of volunteers is cleaning oil from San Francisco’s beaches using an unconventional and totally organic method: human hair and mushrooms.

Mats made of human hair are being used by the volunteers to absorb droplets of oil that washed ashore because a cargo ship rammed the base of a Bay Bridge tower last week, spilling 58,000 gallons of fuel.

Hair, which naturally absorbs oil from air and water, acts as a perfect sponge, said Lisa Gautier of San Francisco, who provided 1,000 hair mats. They are about the size of a doormat, tightly woven with dark hair, and feel somewhat like an S.O.S pad.

Once the mats are soaked with black gunk, oyster mushrooms are placed on them, growing on the mats and absorbing the oil.

Gautier said the mushrooms will absorb the oil within 12 weeks, turning the hair mats into nontoxic compost.

And I’ve been throwing out the hair that collects on my brush.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: