Here in the United States we seldom pay much attention to the dangers of diarrhea unless we or someone we know gets sick with a stomach flu or has eaten something ‘not quite right’. In severe cases our doctors will write us a prescription and tell us to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
That remedy works for residents of countries or regions with ample safe, clean drinking water, but what about in areas where the water supply CAUSED the diarrhea in the first place? What then?
When the cure for what ails you made you sick in the first place the odds of recovery don’t look very promising and in countries where fresh, clean drinking water doe not exist, death from diarrhea — especially in children — happens all the time.
Half of the world’s poor suffer from waterborne disease, and nearly 6,000 people – mainly children – die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water. ( source )
And now for the good news…
Scientists from several companies have developed technologies that make clean(er) water available to populations around the world without the need for multi-million dollar water treatment facilities or long pipelines from other regions of the world.
One technology uses powdered chemicals and a simple cloth filter to produce potable drinking water w/in 20 minutes:
Called “PUR Purifier of Water,” the system consists of a packet containing a grayish powder composed of a variety of chemicals that collectively are capable of removing contaminates within minutes of being added to water. The main active ingredients of the powder are calcium hypochlorite (bleach), which can kill a wide range of deadly pathogens, and ferric sulfate, a particle binder that can remove impurities such as dirt and also disease-causing pathogens that aren’t killed by the bleach. The packets can kill water-born pathogens that cause cholera, typhoid and dysentery; remove a variety of toxic metals, including lead, arsenic and mercury; and also remove dangerous pesticides like DDT and PCB, Allgood says. (source )
A second technology, developed by Vestergaard-Frandsen uses a purification cartridge which contains millions of tiny pores called capillary membranes that remove contaminants. The product removes at least 99.9999% of all bacteria, 99.99% of all viruses, and 99.9% of parasites. With regard to its ability to clean up turbid water, the product removes all particles up to 20nm, making the water clear of any turbidity. ( source )
With two promising technologies for cleaning previously diseased water becoming more and more available to the general public, we hope to see a serious decrease in the number of people suffering and/or dying from waterborne parasites and diseases in the next few years.
Water Filters for Camping, Hiking and Emergencies?
Thankfully most people in the United States have access to clean, safe drinking water and do not need to use the technologies mentioned above on a daily basis. That does not mean, however, that the technologies might not prove useful in this country.