A group of US researchers in collaboration with a nonprofit organization are quite literally turning the page and writing a new chapter for communities suffering from contaminated water. According to Scientific American, 1.5 million people die globally each year from waterborne diseases such as typhoid or diarrheal illnesses.
But this is set to change all thanks to a drinkable book.
Cue Dr. Theresa Dankovich from Carnegie Mellon University who spearheaded the life-changing initiative with her knowledge of silver as an effective antimicrobial. “During her PhD at McGill University, Dankovich successfully created a page made from cellulose, impregnated with silver nanoparticles. Following a postdoctoral stint at the University of Virginia (UVA), she was also able to dope the paper with relatively inexpensive copper nanoparticles,” reports Scientific American.
Field-testing campaigns with nonprofit organization WATERisLIFE in northern Ghana and Bangladesh suggested that the silver-doped pages can remove up to 99.9% of E coli bacteria present in a water sample. Bacteria percolate through the pages of her drinkable book, absorb silver ions, and as a result end up dying. Brilliant.
The life-saving book’s 25 pages can not only be ripped out and used as high-tech filters but are also embossed with sanitary advice and instructions for local communities. Dankovich shares that one page could theoretically filter one person’s water for up to four years.
To read more about the book turning dirty water clean for a thirsty world, go to Scientific American.
Photo: WATERisLIFE via Facebook