Microcystin removal by a naturally-occurring substance: pumice

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2008 Sep;81(3):323-7. doi: 10.1007/s00128-008-9458-x. Epub 2008 May 22.


Microcystins (MCs) are among the most prevalent and potent of the cyanobacterial toxins (cyanotoxins) and their potential occurrence in waters required for drinking has prompted investigations into remedial water treatments for their removal. We have investigated the suitability of local pumice, as a possible low-cost material for environmental application for the removal of cyanotoxins. Adsorption and desorption rates of pure MC-LR, one of the most common and toxic forms of MC and with crude extracts of the cyanobacterium. Microcystis aeruginosa containing MCs, were studied using bench-scale, pumice-packed glass columns, with good retention of the toxins being achieved. Research is in progress to optimize MC removal and to determine the applicability of pumice as a treatment material for cyanotoxin removal.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Microcystins / chemistry*
  • Silicates / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry*
  • Water Purification*


  • Microcystins
  • Silicates
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • pumice