A team of Pakistani researchers has successfully developed a cost-effective technology to clean poisonous arsenic in drinking water through watermelon rind.
The Express Tribune reports that Scientists at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) examined many natural biowastes for arsenic removal and finally discovered that chemically modified “xanthated watermelon rind” is the best to catch arsenic usually found in abundance in groundwater across many parts of the world.
Arsenic pollution is common in Indian sub-continent
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), arsenic is naturally found in soil and groundwater in many countries. Arsenic pollution is common in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, China, Pakistan and some parts of Americas. Long exposure of arsenic polluted water is lethal and 43,000 people die of it annually.
According to the research published in “Science of the Total Environment,” the filter proved to be effective to clean the water from arsenic by up to 95 per cent.
According to report of The Express Tribune
“The research to utilise xanthated water melon rind was performed under supervision of Dr Nabeel Khan Niazi by his PhD student, Muhammad Bilal Shakoor, at the UAF. Niazi and his team won the funding from the Grand Challenges Canada – Stars in Global Health in 2014 to develop the technology.”
Long term exposure of arsenic polluted water may cause diarrhoea, normal and blood vomiting, body pain, skin cancer and irreversible damage to lungs, kidneys and liver.