[LONDON] Watermelon rind, usually discarded as waste, has been shown by researchers in Pakistan to be capable of cheaply and efficiently removing arsenic from groundwater.
Arsenic poisoning from drinking contaminated groundwater affects about 140 million people in 50 countries and an estimated 43,000 people die of it annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The most affected countries are Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan though arsenic pollution is also present in China, parts of Europe and the Americas.
Treatments to remove arsenic contamination, mostly associated with water drawn from deep, subterranean sources using borewells, include the use of lime, various coagulants, osmotic membrane filters or ion exchange processes.
This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Asia & Pacific desk.
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