The LifeStraw, a technological advancement developed by Vestergaard Frandsen, is an instant microbiological water purifier that has facilitated worldwide access to clean and safe drinking water. Requiring neither batteries nor electrical power, the LifeStraw is convenient to use and efficiently reduces turbidity by filtering 99.99% of bacteria, viruses and protozoan parasites from contaminated water. Furthermore, this unique invention has the capacity of filtering a maximum of 1,000 liters of water, an amount that is adequate for the survival of an individual over the course of a year.
Beneficial to society
People living in developing nations as well as those who are impacted by natural disasters have benefited greatly from the creation of not only the LifeStraw, but also the LifeStraw Family, an enhanced filter that can provide potable drinking water for a family of 5 for up to 3 years. Both inventions were widely distributed to those who were affected by the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, the 2010 Pakistan floods, and even the 2011 Thailand floods. Additionally, Vestergaard Frandsen’s technological innovation has played a crucial role in the road to reducing the threats of the global water crisis; by providing access to potable drinking water, the LifeStraw enables other societal goals including poverty reduction, childhood survival, and even environmental sustainability to be achieved.
How does the LifeStraw function?
The LifeStraw is made of a plastic material, which contains several internal filters as well as an iodine-impregnated chamber. The straw contains an extraordinarily effective material that kills bacteria on contact, also known as PuroTech Disinfecting Resin (PDR). In addition, the LifeStraw utilizes textile pre-filters that efficiently remove particles of up to 15 microns. Parasites and other particles are withheld by active carbon particles, which are located among the textile pre-filters. Similar to a normal drinking straw, the LifeStraw is operated by simply sucking on the end of the straw, a feature that is highly indicative of its convenience and portability.
A true lifesaver
Ultimately, the LifeStraw has become one of the greatest lifesavers in history; it has even received Time magazine’s “Best Invention of 2005” Award. Forbes magazine also deemed it “one of the 10 things that will change the way we live.” The LifeStraw’s affordability is a major factor that facilitates is prevalence and success in society—the cost of one LifeStraw is approximately $3, a price that was deemed affordable to the Third World consumer, according to Vestergaard Frandsen. Only 25 cm in length and 29 mm in diameter, the plastic pipe filter serves as a viable and efficient means of saving tens of millions of lives every year.