Thursday, December 02, 2004 NewsFlash - Oregon researchers develop arsenic 'trap'

You see about 10% of US ground water has arsenic...This is a good news too..

Oregon researchers develop arsenic 'trap'
11/30/2004, 12:53 p.m. PT
The Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — University of Oregon researchers have developed an arsenic "trap" that has the potential to clean up contaminated water or treat poisoning victims.

Arsenic is a chemical element and a naturally occurring poison that contaminates water supplies around the globe.

Darren Johnson, a chemistry professor, and graduate student Jake Vickaryous have created a molecule made of sulphur and carbon that hooks on to arsenic.

Three sulphur-based molecules join with two arsenic atoms to form a kind of pyramid-shaped molecule that's more stable than the sulphur molecule alone. Once locked into the structure Johnson describes as a "molecular claw," the arsenic does not combine with any other molecules.

If the molecule proves stable enough to avoid linking up with any other molecules, it could effectively remove arsenic from human tissue or offer a way to make arsenic-tainted wells safe for drinking water.

"One thing this could potentially do is provide some new environmental remediation and sensing tools," Johnson said.

The federal government currently requires that public water systems have no more than 50 parts per billion of lead and will reduce that to 10 parts per billion in 2006.

About 10 percent of U.S. groundwater has arsenic concentrations above 10 parts per billion, while 20 percent of the wells in the Willamette Valley exceed that level. Read More... NewsFlash - Oregon researchers develop arsenic 'trap'

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