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Cilantro, That Favorite Salsa Ingredient, Purifies Drinking Water

(Science Daily) [A] favorite ingredient in Mexican, Southeast Asian and other spicy cuisine may be an inexpensive new way of purifying drinking water…
Reporting on research done by undergraduate students at a community college, Douglas Schauer, Ph.D., said that cilantro -- also known as coriander and Thai parsley -- shows promise as a much-needed new "biosorbent" for removing lead and other potentially toxic heavy metals from contaminated water.
"Cilantro may seem too pricey for use in decontaminating large amounts of water for drinking and cooking," Schauer said. "However, cilantro grows wild in vast amounts in countries that have problems with heavy-metal water pollution. It is readily available, inexpensive and shows promise in removing certain metals, such as lead, copper and mercury, that can be harmful to human health."
Conventional methods for removing heavy metals from water such as treatment with activated carbon (used in the filters in home water purification pitchers) or more advanced technology like ion-exchange resins are very effective. However, they can be too expensive for use in developing countries, especially in rural areas.
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