Posted on Oct 29, 2013, 6 a.m.
Water-purification sachets – the size of a fast-food ketchup packet, transform cloudy, brown water into crystal-clear, drinkable water for millions of people living in countries with contaminated drinking water.
Diarrhea from contaminated drinking water is second only to pneumonia as a cause of childhood deaths worldwide. More than 2,000 children die every day as a result of diarrheal illnesses. The Children's Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) program, a humanitarian effort led by Procter & Gamble, has distributed water-purification packets, which transform cloudy, brown water into crystal-clear, drinkable water that meets all the requirements for drinking water. The chemistry is impressive, yet the application is impressively simple. It involves pouring the contents of one packet, which weighs less than an ounce, into a bucket of 10 quarts of water and stirring. Dirt, parasites and other material drop to the bottom, and disease-causing microbes die. The water-purification packets produced their 6 billionth quart of potable water earlier this year.
Kamphuis AT. “Scaling up efforts to provide more than 100 million water purification packets every year.” Presented at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), 8 Sept. 2013.