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A Straw that Makes Contaminated Water Safe to Drink


There’s good news for those unable to easily find clean water
that’s safe to drink. A new and inexpensive device called Lifestraw is a water purification tool that makes it easy to consume contaminated water directly from the source and not get sick. Vestergaard Frandsen is the name of the company in Switzerland originating the Lifestraw, and Mikkel Vestergaard
Frandsen is the chief executive officer. From Lausanne, he told Voice of America reporter Cole Mallard the Lifestraw works on the principle of filtration: “the beauty about Lifestraw is its simplicity; it works like a water treatment plant in a straw. Encased in Lifestraw are seven different filtration media, giving
it the ability to not only remove unwanted particles but also 99.99 percent of all bacteria.”

He says Lifestraw can save countless lives from dying of preventable water-borne diseases. Frandsen says Lifestraw is available now for charities, but will be available as a consumer product on the open market.

He says right now: “we’re taking it out there to the rural household in Congo where the poorest people live, where the death rates are the highest…that’s where Lifestraw can go in and make a difference.” He says Lifestraw has also been distributed, among other places, in northern Uganda: “mind you, Lifestraw is built to provide help that is so needed in the most extreme situations on earth” including countries both in conflict, and those that are not. Frandsen says there are no chemicals in the
product, and no disadvantages to it, but at present, Lifestraw cannot detect and filter out heavy metals, such as arsenic, but he says that will soon change. Frandsen says safe drinking water is taken for granted in many countries, but that’s not the case in many other countries: “We know now that with simple water filtration at the point of use, we can make healthy water the basic human right that it has to be and not an everyday struggle for survival.”

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