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Friday, July 14, 2017

Good morning,

Fresh, clean water is the most important commodity in the world for sustaining human life. Unfortunately, it is growing more and more scarce as pollution and misuse reduce available sources.

So how do you purify polluted water? There are a lot of methods from simple but energy intensive methods like boiling, to chemical methods like adding iodine or chlorine, all the way to irradiating it with ultraviolet light.

Or, you could use banana peels.

Thanks for reading,

Your Living Green editor

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Banana peels, useful in polishing silverware and leather shoes, may have another "cleaning" ability -- as a water purifier, Brazilian researchers say.

Scientists funded by the Sao Paolo Research Foundation say minced banana peels performed better than a number of other purification materials in removing potentially toxic metal contamination from water, an article in an American Chemical Society journal reported Wednesday.

Mining processes, runoff from farms and industrial wastes can all put health and environment harming heavy metals such as lead and copper into waterways.

Current purification methods are expensive and some substances used in the process are toxic themselves, researchers say.

Previous work has shown some plant wastes, such as coconut fibers and peanut shells, can remove these potential toxins from water. The researchers found minced banana peel quickly removes lead and copper from river water as well as, or better than, many other materials, and a purification system made of banana peels can be used up to 11 times without losing its metal-binding properties.

Banana peels are attractive as water purifiers because of low cost and because they don't have to be chemically modified in order to work, they say.

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