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Photo credit: LifeStraw

Turning on the tap and being able to access safe and drinkable water is a privilege that some of us may not realize we have. Despite the fact that having access to sufficient, safe, acceptable, accessible, and affordable water for personal and domestic use has been declared a human right by the United Nations, many people are living without this essential need being met. LifeStraw is a brand that works to make clean water accessible for all through their water filtration and purification devices. LifeStraw water filters are designed by Vestergaard Fransen, a Swiss company that manufactures public health tools in developing countries. The filters were originally developed in 1994 when LifeStraw partnered with the Carter Center to design a mesh filter that would remove Guinea worm larvae from drinking water. Guinea worm disease is a parasitic infection that is transmitted through water and causes the host excruciating pain. At the time of the partnership between the Carter Center and LifeStraw, there were 3.5 million cases of Guinea worm disease in approximately 21 countries.

The original LifeStraw

The first filtering product created by LifeStraw was a 22cm long plastic tube that is used in the same way as a conventional drinking straw. Water that is drawn upwards through the straw passes through hollow fibres that filter water particles down to 0.2 microns in diameter. This filter removes 99.999999% of bacteria that may be in a body of freshwater, as well as 99.999% of parasites, and 99.999% of microplastics. The LifeStraw also is able to reduce turbidity such as silt, sand, and cloudiness. The membrane microfilter will last a user for up to 4000 litres (1000 gallons). 

LifeStraw Membrane Microfilters

How exactly do the LifeStraw membrane microfilters work? They are made of hollow fiber membrane technology which is similar to the technology that is used in kidney dialysis. The membranes, which contain microscopic pores, allow clean water to pass through the pores while bacteria, parasites, and microplastics are blocked from entering the clean chamber which holds the drinking water.

Other products and uses

While LifeStraw has an important role to play for those who live in developing nations, their products have also gained popularity with consumers. This has led to a wide range of LifeStraw products which are designed with specific activities and situations in mind. For example, the LifeStraw Universal is a water bottle filter adapter kit which can transform your water bottle into a powerful filter. This product is perfect for any outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping, backpacking, and other recreational activities. On the other hand, LifeStraw Community is a large high-capacity and long-lasting water purifier that is designed for emergency response and humanitarian work.

LifeStraw gives back

Not only does LifeStraw produce great products, but they are also dedicated to giving back and making a difference in the lives of others. With each purchase of a LifeStraw product, a child will be provided with one year’s worth of clean drinking water. Whether you plan to go on outdoor adventures, prep for emergencies, or give back to a community in need, consider making a purchase from LifeStraw!

LifeStraw website

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