A team of researchers have developed The Drinkable Book, a wonderfully accessible solution for a long term purification process of water supplies. The pages of this book are impregnated with specialized chemicals that could perform the purification and they are also printed to include valuable information on how and why it is beneficial to get clean drinking water.
The team of researchers who developed The Drinkable Book were led by postdoctoral researcher Theresa Dankovich of the Carnegie Mellon University from Pittsburgh. The research process was also conducted at McGill University in Montreal and at the University of Virginia.
This incredible water purification tool comes in the form of a book, whose pages can be torn off and used as filters in order to get clean water that is safe to drink. Its pages are impregnated with silver and copper ions, that come into contact with the bacteria when the water is pored over the filter. The filters are so powerful that one page could clean up to 100 liters of water. This means that an entire book could last for a very long time in the developing communities for which the book was created.
“All you need to do is tear out a paper, put it in a simple filter holder and pour water into it from rivers, streams, wells etc and out comes clean water – and dead bacteria as well” explained Dr. Dankovich.
The researchers designed the filter to be useful for bucket sized transports of water, as these are the regular sizes in the targeted communities. The amazing filters are effective against bacteria and viruses, and are capable of purifying the water from these developed countries, that comes from lakes and rivers almost as clean as tap water, so that it becomes safe to drink.
The Drinkable Book has filters that could significantly reduce the level of water-borne contamination in an accessible and effective way. Furthermore, the levels of copper and silver that remain in the water after the filtration process are below the safety limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency, which means that they are not toxic for the people who use them.
Further research will have to be conducted on the limitations of the protection that The Drinkable Book can supply. The scientific community has expressed concern on the efficacy of the filter paper in destroying the protozoa in the water. Protozoa are highly specialized unicellular organisms that can enter the human body through drinking water, among many other means and can cause significant damage.
If these filters prove to be effective against protozoa as well, then they truly stand to change the life of people from developing countries in a massive way, because protozoan infections cause a great deal of damage in these parts of the world, killing millions of people every year.
However, The Drinkable Book shows great potential and a perfected version has all the chances to become the standard of safety in regards to water sources in developing countries in the near future. It remains to be seen what future testing will reveal, but one thing remains extremely clear though; we will be hearing a lot more about this amazing invention in the years to come.
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