Friday, August 20, 2010

Safe Drinking Water from South African Tea Bag

Microbiologists at South Africa's Stellenbosch University have developed a device that could provide safe drinking water to millions of people. It comes in the form of a tea bag that can clean up to one liter of contaminated water and fits into most bottles. The tea bag shaped invention is filled with active carbon granules while the inside of the sachet is coated with biocides that kill harmful pathogens. The market price of one has yet to be determined, however the raw materials used for each unit amount to less than $0.005.

Of Africa's 680 million inhabitants, nearly half do not have access to safe drinking water, leaving them vulnerable to waterborne illnesses such as cholera and other diarrheal diseases. This filtering device could also be of great use around the world during humanitarian and natural disasters such as the floods in Pakistan, where millions have been left without access to safe drinking water.

-Devynn Patterson