Sweet lime peels can prevent cancer

The modest "mosambi" or sweet lime can prevent cancer, according to a study by two researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) in Varanasi.

They found out that Citrus limetta peels can remove heavy metals from water and prevent cancer and other life-threatening ailments.

The pair at IIT BHU's School of Biochemical Engineering synthesised an eco-friendly and cost-effective adsorbent which can remove toxic heavy metal ions such as hexavalent chromium from contaminated water and waste water.

The study by Dr Vishal Mishra, associate professor at the school, and his student Veer Singh has been published in the international journal Separation Science And Technology.

Dr Mishra told IANS that hexavalent chromium causes several health problems in humans such as cancer, liver and kidney diseases and skin rashes.

"The new eco-friendly product that we synthesised from mosambi peels is very effective in removing hexavalent chromium from water which people consume," he said.

It also removed other heavy metal ions, such as lead, copper and cadmium, which have carcinogenic properties.

"We collect the mosambi peels, dry them, grind them into granules and then modify it with chitosan, a biopolymer," Dr Mishra explained.

"After this, the peels are put in water and they begin to separate the heavy metals."

In developing countries, water-borne diseases are a major problem. According to the World Health Organisation, each year 3.4 million people, mostly children, die from water-related diseases.

According to a United Nations Children's Fund assessment, 4,000 children around the world die each day due to the intake of bacterial water.

Improving water quality can reduce global water-borne diseases.

Cancer caused by hexavalent chromium and other heavy metal ions in water is a severe problem worldwide.

Dr Mishra said the researchers are now planning to make the eco-friendly method that they developed more cost-effective. He added that clinical trials will begin soon.

Indo-Asian News Service

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