Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

This will save millions of lives: LifeStraw

  1. Oct 28, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    http://www.lifestraw.com/

    Approximate cost: $3.00 per year.
    [​IMG]
    http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2005/05/lifestraw.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2006 #2
    i think that will indeed save millions of lives. hopefully it will get many people to stop drinking bottled water, since so much oil gets used up (wasted imho) on disgustingly frivolous plastic bottles. (aquafina, dasani, etc etc)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  4. Oct 28, 2006 #3
    http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/2006/Update51.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  5. Oct 28, 2006 #4
    Well I hardly think that the people I see walking around with the bottled water, would be willing to drop to all fours and suck water out of a puddle. But the mental image was amusing.
    For many people in the world, this could be a miracle. In areas of drought, or even flooding, it will save many lifes.
     
  6. Oct 28, 2006 #5

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I imagine there will be some interest for it as a wilderness survival tool as well. It basically sounds like a pocket-sized filter cartridge, similar to what any of those pitchers with water filters have.

    The only thing I'm skeptical about is that it would have a full year of useful life. That would also likely depend on just how contaminated the water is and what is getting trapped in the filter. I wonder if it's been tested under "field" conditions? I would suspect that you wouldn't get more than a month of use, if that, before you'd have to suck so hard your head would feel like it was going to implode before you got water if you use it in muddy, dirty water sources like the one in the picture.
     
  7. Oct 28, 2006 #6

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Aren't regular filters just activated charcoal or dependent on relatively high pressure? This seems to be a new.

    I too wondered about plugging, and it sounds like it's a little tough to use in the first place, but they do talk about blowing back through with each use to clean it, and they claim that one can even filter 350 liters of salt water through it! So, even if it was only good for half of that, at 2 liters per day we are still good to ninety days.

    In either case, with the very low cost and all of the new billionares giving away their money, the many third world health problems resulting from contaminated water consumption could be eliminated as fast as these can be produced.

    I guess this is another one for Bono and Oprah.
     
  8. Oct 28, 2006 #7

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I was just thinking that the price of the Iraq war to date would buy about one-hundred billion of these.
     
  9. Oct 28, 2006 #8

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think you're right. But aren't there ones that filter out bacteria too? I don't know about killing the bacteria, but just fine enough to keep the bacteria from passing through it. I'd still want to test it before having to rely on it to see if one's head would implode before you got a good sip of water. Memories of trying to suck up McDonald's milkshakes through a straw as a kid come to mind. :rofl:
     
  10. Oct 28, 2006 #9

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  11. Oct 28, 2006 #10

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm allergic to iodine, found that out when they tried to do an iodine based test on me, I thought I was going to die.

    I wonder how sick the "lifestraw" would make me?
     
  12. Oct 28, 2006 #11

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Funny thing about the iodine: Apparently many people in the third world would benefit from the small amount of iodine passed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  13. Oct 28, 2006 #12

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Maybe you're just sensitive to an excess, or perhaps is was potassium if you were given KI. I seem to remember an allergy to bananas which contain potassium.

    http://thyroid.about.com/cs/vitaminsupplement/a/iodine.htm
    I can't see how someone would be allergic to an element that is vital/essential to a particular biological function. What about iodized salt?

    Interesting article - http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18119
    North Americans take in relatively high amount of I. Maybe that explains some things. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Oct 28, 2006 #13

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Because they are generally deficient in I. Iodized salt has made a big difference in Afghanistan, where the diet has been deficient in I for decades. One comment I heard recently from a doctor is that the average IQ (or something to that effect) in Afghanistan has been suppressed due to lack of iodine in the diet. I'll try and find the source.
     
  15. Oct 28, 2006 #14

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    An insufficiency of thyroid hormones, brought on by iodine deficiency, can cause very severe problems with neural development in infants...depending on the extent of the deficiency. It is important for brain function in general.

    Evo, I too am puzzled how you'd be allergic to iodine, because it is essential to have iodine in the diet. As has been suggested, either it's a sensitivity to excess or perhaps it was the form it was in.
     
  16. Oct 28, 2006 #15

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Thanks Moonbear, that more accurately describes what was mentioned.

    In the same talk, the doctor mentioned seeing health problems that he had never seen in the modern world - bruises, swollen joints, bleeding - especially gums. It turns out that the diet was deficient in Vitamin C - and hundreds/thousands were suffering from 'scurvy', which has not been seen in the industrial nations on such a scale for more than 100 years, probably almost 200 years.
     
  17. Oct 28, 2006 #16

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This [iodine induced allergic reactions] was a common problem for X-Ray people in that some of the contrast agents used contained high levels of iodine; which can cause a bad reaction in some people, including death. The contrast agents used today apparently mostly avoid this problem.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  18. Oct 28, 2006 #17

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yep, it was for an x-ray, I'm assuming the dosage was pretty high.

    Moonbear, I can tolerate the normal amounts of iodine in food.

    The reason I was wondering at what level something like the LifeStraw would make me ill was this "The released amount of iodine in water treated from LifeStraw® is not normally damaging to human health. (people having thyroid problems and allergic reaction to iodine must seek medical advice before using this tool.) "
     
  19. Oct 28, 2006 #18

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The only place I can think of where this might be useful (and effective) is a refugee camp (if even that). It's not obvious to me that this will save millions of lives.

    Also, the drop across a prefilter, charcoal filter and exhange resin bed with a cross section of a square inch is likely to be at least a few psi. That will take some serious sucking!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  20. Oct 28, 2006 #19

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That was my thought. Pucker up! :rofl: That's why I was thinking more along the lines of wilderness survival...small and easy to pack in a kit so if you get lost in the woods, you don't have to worry about the source of water if you need to drink from a questionable stream or pond or puddle just to stay hydrated.
     
  21. Oct 28, 2006 #20

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    http://www.esemag.com/0604/lowtech.html
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: This will save millions of lives: LifeStraw
  1. Million dollar . (Replies: 8)

  2. A Living Will (Replies: 12)

  3. Chance in a million (Replies: 3)

  4. Spend or save? (Replies: 8)

Loading...