A simple and inexpensive method to extract deadly arsenic from drinking water using plastic bottles could dramatically improve health in underdeveloped nations, reports a research team at Monmouth University. With almost 100 million people in developing countries exposed to dangerously high levels of arsenic, and unable to afford complex purification technology, MU’s Professor Tsanangurayi Tongesayi has described arsenic removal by flaked PET bottles coated with cysteine, an amino acid found in dietary supplements and foods. The work was reported at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, held Sept. 1. He described laboratory tests of the purification method on water containing 20 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic, twice the safe concentration set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water. The water was rendered drinkable, with 0.2 ppb or less arsenic – more than meeting the federal standard. He reported that the technology also has the potential for removing other potentially toxic heavy metals from drinking water.