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The Drinkable Book

August 20, 2015

A book that purifies water could help reduce waterborne illnesses in developing countries.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Dankovich pours contaminated pond water into a funnel containing an antimicrobial filter paper in a rural area of Bangladesh. DrinkableBookPhoto95685 Ali Wilson

Dankovich pours contaminated pond water into a funnel containing an antimicrobial filter paper in a rural area of Bangladesh. (Ali Wilson)

The Drinkable Book. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

In developing countries, many people have no choice but to drink contaminated water.

THERESA DANKOVICH (Carnegie Mellon University):

The latest number from the World Health Organization is 663 million people do not have access to clean drinking water, and because of that people will come down with waterborne illnesses.

HIRSHON:

That’s Carnegie Mellon chemist Theresa Dankovich, who created something called The Drinkable Book to help. It has tips on how to avoid water borne disease, and its pages are filter paper, embedded with antimicrobial silver particles. Each sheet can disinfect 100 liters of water.

DANKOVICH:

It’s really quite simple and easy to use, and also very affordable, the main cost is the cost of the paper itself.

HIRSHON:

At a meeting of the American Chemical Society, Dankovich presented promising results from Ghana, South Africa, and Bangladesh. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.