Arsenic (also known as rat poison) is found in the drinking water in many countries around the world including Bangladesh and the United States among others. Arsenic may occur in drinking water naturally or as the result of various types of industry, including mining and coal-burning power plants. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has developed a filter that removes arsenic from water using an absorbent recycled by-product that is cheap and widely available. The filtration method uses iron oxide coated sand found in groundwater treatment plants, where natural sand is used to remove iron from the groundwater. Over time, the natural sand becomes coated with iron oxides and has to be replaced with clean sand. Now, rather than sending the iron oxide coated sand to a landfill, it can be reused to absorb arsenic from drinking water cheaply and easily. UNESCO announced last week that they are seeking donations to help build arsenic filtering facilities for public drinking water in needy countries.
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