From Montreal, at a joint meeting of the American and Canadian Geophysical Unions
Field tests in Nepal suggest that people who live in areas with arsenic-tainted aquifers may be able to purify their drinking water by passing it through a low-cost, low-tech filter with a simple active ingredient—a few handfuls of iron nails.
Groundwater in many areas of the world contains arsenic (SN: 11/15/03, p. 315: Attack of the Rock-Eating Microbes!). In the Terai region of southern Nepal, about 90 percent of the residents get their drinking water from wells, says Susan Murcott of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. More than 500,000 of the region's inhabitants consume water with arsenic concentrations tha