Skip to comments.Eliminating arsenic from drinking water
Posted on 02/03/2011 5:34:32 PM PST by neverdem
An iron-rich, porous material can remove arsenic from drinking water in under two hours, say Chinese scientists.
Arsenic is notoriously toxic, proving fatal to the majority of living organisms in high doses. Elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater in countries such as Bangladesh pose a serious threat to human health. But traditional methods to remove the arsenic struggle to eliminate the more dominant arsenic ion, arsenite.
Now, Kang Li and colleagues from Harbin Medical University have removed arsenite from water samples using ferrihydrite - a low cost, natural mineral found on the Earth's surface. Already known to absorb arsenic, its efficiency is usually hindered by its low surface area. The team overcame this by combining two layers of ferrihydrite, increasing its surface area and loading capacity. Arsenite was selectively removed from water, even in the presence of other anions with similar molecular structures. Removal of the arsenite from the surface of the ferrihydrite material was easily achieved by washing it with an alkali solultion. After a heat treatment, the mesoporous material could be reused up to ten times.
Elevated levels of arsenic in drinking water pose a serious threat to human health
© UNITED NATIONS
Li believes that the recycling aspect holds the greatest challenge for future practical applications for the material. 'If magnetic nanoparticles could be loaded in the channels of the two-line ferrihydrite, recycling would become even easier,' he says.
'The next step should be related to the investigation of the mechanism and efficiency of arsenic removal by nanocrystalline iron oxides depending on their structure and crystallinity,' says Radek Zboril, an expert in nanocrystalline iron oxides from Palacky University in the Czech Republic.
'The incorporation of arsenic into the structure of the in situ formed iron oxide nanoparticles seems to be a more promising way from the viewpoint of real applications.'
One-step synthesis of mesoporous two-line ferrihydrite for effective elimination of arsenic contaminants from natural water
Zhenzi Li, Tao Zhang and Kang Li, Dalton Trans., 2011
Chinese also say, "We prut mateereeul wif ars-nic into pills. Sell as aneeemeeuh medcine in U.S. of A."
Contrary to popular opinion, arsenic is an element, a natural material found in the soil almost everywhere -- to varying degrees. Check your periodic table for details.
"Industrial pollution" has nothing to do with it.
The Clinton administration arbitrarily reduced the standard for arsenic in water supplies from like 8 to 4 parts per billion. Despite there being any evidence that any American had suffered any damage whatsoever -- much less death -- from arsenic in the water supply.
As a consequence, several small towns in North Dakota and South Dakota had to completely re-work their water treatment plants -- at the cost of millions of dollars. Again, without any individual in those towns having ever suffered any ill effects attributable to arsenic.
While this finding could have a huge impact on public health in places like Bangladesh, its application is completely unneccessary in the USA -- unless some town in the Dakotas is in the market for a replacement water treatment plant.
The enviro-whackos will, of course, have a different opinion...
I think UI remember seeing something in Houston about this.
Broken red brick fragments work fine, as does running the water through a drum of rusty nails.
India has used this method for years.
I know someone who’s naturapath solved her carpal tunnel syndrome problem.....by ADDING arsenic to her diet....because they said there was no longer enough in the water!
“I thought we fought this the first month Bush was in office.”
That was when Bush showed just how INCOMPETENT he was. He should have simply issued an executive order invalidating ANY regulation that was written after election day - but no, all we got was the Republicans getting trashed and one-way talk about a new tone.
Perhaps a court would have invalidated the order, who knows, but there are times YOU MUST FIGHT.
Oh, how we wish the Republicans would fight like the rats.
Also used in chemotherapy. It’s all a matter of degree and good for those scientists for their discovery.
I can believe it. Because there is trace amount of arsenic in just about everybody's water -- a few parts per billion.
Arsenic is like every other toxic material -- it's the dose, not the material itself. And, at a certain level, the body is known to need many toxic materials -- like chlorine, fluorine, etc.
Did they think only Oprah watchers were going to read this?
Did they think only Oprah watchers were going to read this?
Thanks for the link.
I have a 10 year old source, Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, which mentioned there's "circumstantial evidence" in passing. Do you have convincing evidence that's more recent?
Some stem cells hold on to their past, researchers say You'll get the printed abstract first.
Bacteria in mouse gut affect development and behaviour The BBC linked the abstract.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
The problem is that zero keeps shifting. These idiots never heard of hormesis. Yet, they delight in lowering limits only to look good or keep their bureaucrats busy.
HUD did the same thing with lead levels in children. The numbers had dropped so quickly that they arbitrarily lowered the acceptable amount by half. Suddenly, there was an uptick in children with lead “poisoning”.
“I know someone whos naturapath solved her carpal tunnel syndrome problem.....by ADDING arsenic to her diet....because they said there was no longer enough in the water!”
I read a study a few months back that used Arsenic to treat cancer.
The reduction of Arsenic in drinking water to ridiculous levels may fit the law of unintended consequences. Another example-Congress mandated folate to be included in foods to help pregnant women, but folate is a big no-no when it comes to active cancers. It helps it along.
Neither had I. Looked it up and learned something, thank you. And it sure is applicable to the matter at hand.
You do a great job commenting thoughtfully and often with great insight, so I appreciate the compliment.
I learned about hormesis from Art Robinson who was a student researcher with Linus Pauling. It was a long time ago, but they had a falling out over vitamin C (Robinson said the results disproved Pauling’s contention that C was a cure-all and often worsened some diseases).
Pauling’s other sin, like a lot of liberal gurus they have so many and never apologize, was that radiation or any insult to the body was always bad (linearly, i.e. the more the worse). This lead to our modern Greens, Communists, and EPA calling for “zero” levels of any toxin.
Clearly, this is unscientific as dose makes every poison and oxygen and water are toxic at the proper level. But, Robinson went further proving that hormesis exists and as regards radiation too little radiation causes cancer.
Robinson contends that Australian life guards have the lowest incident of skin cancer, but the highest of sun exposure. Look him up it is interesting stuff.
I might be confusing stories, but he worked in a lab where Pauling was working on showing how dangerous DDT was. They fed lab rats DDT and the control group a “healthy” diet, including Linus’ darling vitamin C. The DDT rats thrived, grew larger than normal and were trim and muscular while the rats on the “healthy” diet didn’t.
Pauling pulled the plug when his RAs started calling DDT, Vitamin DDT. He was a jerk and a liar.
You’d like Art Robinson. Search around for him. He and his children are a remarkable bunch - Christians, Scientists and great thinkers - naturally they’re conservatives. ;-]
Spread the word. There’s nothing like the truth, eh?