BOSTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) — The “Drinkable Book” has pages that educate and potentially save lives. Recently, the bug-killing book, with pages that purify dirty water, proved effective in a series of field tests.
Researchers delivered the good news on Sunday at 250th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, held this week in Boston.
The pages inside the drinkable book feature words on the importance of clean water and the risks of water-borne illness. Once the words have been absorbed, the pages can be used to effectively filter murky water.
In field tests involving more than two dozen contaminated water sources in South Africa, Ghana and Bangladesh, the book’s pages were able to remove 99 percent of the samples’ bacteria. The pages are embedded with silver nanoparticles, which absorb harmful microbes. Though some of the water-purifying heavy metals were able to slip through, all contaminants measured well below safe drinking levels.
“These filters meet US EPA guidelines for bacteria removal to produce safe drinking water,” researchers claim on the book’s homepage. “The filters can last a couple of weeks, even up to a month, so the entire books could provide the tools to filter clean water for about a year.”
The book’s technology was developed by Dr. Teri Dankovich, now a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Dankvoich perfected the book while conducting research at at Canada’s McGill University and later the University of Virginia.
“It’s directed towards communities in developing countries,” Dr. Dankovich told the BBC. “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.”
A single page from the book can clean up to 26 gallons of water. The book can provide clean water for a single person for up to four years.
Reactions to the technology have been mostly positive. The concept is simple and the book is cost-effective, but researchers say they’d like to see how well the filters remove potentially harmful viruses and protozoa.