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News article: Weed could remove 3d world As danger

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  • Suiling Wang
    http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4296276 Weed Could Remove Third World Arsenic Danger By Tim Walsh A nuisance weed could provide a cheap and effective
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 22 5:19 PM
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      http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4296276

      Weed Could Remove Third World Arsenic Danger
      By Tim Walsh

      A nuisance weed could provide a cheap and effective way to remove arsenic from
      contaminated water supplies in developing countries, according to new research
      published today.

      Dr Parvez Haris, of De Montfort University, Leicester, carried out a series of
      lab tests using a powdered material made from dried roots of the water
      hyacinth.

      The plant is known as the "green plague" because it flourishes as a weed in
      ponds, lakes and rivers in hot climates and can double in size within weeks.

      The tests found that adding the dried root powder to contaminated water cut
      arsenic levels by more than 20 times within minutes, to below the World Health
      Organisation's safe limit.

      Dr Haris says he was inspired to start his research after meeting victims of
      arsenic poisoning on a visit to Bangladesh, where contaminated drinking water
      is drawn from tube-wells.

      WHO estimates that nearly 70 million people in Bangladesh are at risk of being
      affected by exposure to arsenic-contaminated ground water and a variety of
      health problems, including cancer.

      Dr Haris said he needed to carry out more tests to make sure the dried water
      hyacinth could be safely used to filter water, but he added: "This
      much-maligned but beautiful weed has the potential to be turned into a
      life-saving material to help some of the world's poorest people."
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