December 3, 2007 We have previously examined the remarkable potential of the Lifestraw - a personal water purification device that avoids the need for electricity by utilizing the sucking power of the user to kill disease causing micro organisms and filter bacteria, delivering the immeasurable benefits of clean water to anywhere on the planet. With estimates putting the number of daily deaths that result from unsafe drinking water at 6000, there's no questioning the potential of the Lifestraw to alleviate misery, the challenge now is to ensure that as many people as possible have access to this kind of technology.
Since our first encounter with the device, manufacturer Vestergaard Frandsen has upgraded the specifications in response to feedback from the field.
The major change with Lifestraw version 2 is the minimization of residual Iodine levels to improve the appeal to the end users - ie. the filtered water now tastes better with the use of the device almost undetectable.
Like the original version, the light-weight, 12.2 inch (25cm) device can be carried or worn around the neck and filters a minimum 700 litres of water (a year's worth) and requires no electricity or spare parts for the duration of its life. Lifestraw provides protection from from common diarrhoeal diseases, removing particles down to 15 microns and killing and removing 99.999% of waterborne bacteria plus 98.7% of waterborne viruses. More detailed information concerning testing of the device can be viewed at the Lifestraw site.
Australian distributor Pacific Defence has partnered with World Outreach, a global missions / relief Aid organization to ensure that the Lifestraw reaches those in need. The current campaign will see two Lifestraws hand delivered into isolated locations across Sth. East Asia and Africa for a contribution of only AUD$24.95.
See the World Outreach for details.
Editor's note, May 2013: The latest LifeStraw filters out 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.99% of waterborne protozoan parasites, filters water contaminants by approximately 0.2 microns and up to 1000L of water.