A Missouri Southern State University student believes snails may be able to show the impact of mining cleanup efforts.
MSSU senior Cameron Priester tells the Joplin Globe that he's studying the shell composition of snails from mined areas that have undergone cleanup efforts in Joplin and Webb City. He's interested in researching whether the snails have absorbed harmful minerals, such as lead or zinc.
Priester believes snails could show whether or not ecosystems are healthier after mining cleanup. He plans to compare snails from the mined areas to snails that haven't been subjected to mining activity to see whether their shells have higher concentrations of heavy metals.
Priester will present his findings at an upcoming conference for the regional chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.