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Radiation in Tokyo Water Spurs Run on Coconut-Shell Cleaners

Efforts to protect Tokyo’s tap water from radiation leaked by a damaged nuclear-power plant have led to a run on Indonesian coconut husks.

Granulated charcoal, made of shells of coconuts and oil-palm kernels, is being used by treatment plants in Tokyo and neighboring regions to filter tap-water supplies. Prices for the absorbent carbon material have risen as much as 44 percent since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered the radiation threat, said Yoshio Toi, a spokesman for the municipal government in Chiba, a prefecture neighboring Tokyo.