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Book pages could filter water for third-world residents

Book pages with embedded silver particles could soon be used to filter water.Illustration by Colter Hettich/New York Daily News

Book pages with embedded silver particles could soon be used to filter water.

Tear out a page from this book of life, and drink — literally.

Third-world residents and survivalists alike may soon be able to filter dirty water through paper pages.

Originating from a doctoral thesis at McGill University, “pAge drinking paper” technology has found a way to both educate and sanitize with one fell, shiny swoop: silver. Scientists have embeded silver particles in porous pages, providing an antiviral filter in addition to a legible printing surface, according to the project’s site.

In fact, silver has been used to defend against disease for centuries.

“In the late 1800s, the Swiss botanist, Carl von Naegeli, discovered the ‘oligodynamic effect,’ which is the observation that a low concentration of metal ions are (fatal) to many different types of microorganisms,” according to pagedrinkingpaper.com. “The silver ion is most bactericidal out of all the metals, followed by mercury, lead and copper.”

Originating from a doctoral thesis at McGill University, "pAge drinking paper" uses embeded silver particles in porous pages to create an antiviral filter in addition to a legible printing surface.Photo by pagedrinkingpaper.com

Originating from a doctoral thesis at McGill University, “pAge drinking paper” uses embeded silver particles in porous pages to create an antiviral filter in addition to a legible printing surface.

According to the World Health Organization, about 783 million people “do not have access to an improved water source and acquire their water from unprotected groundwater or surface water.” And 3.4 million people die each year from water-related disease. While a waste-treatment facility is ideal, few locations currently allow for such a solution. Chemist Dr. Theresa Dankovich’s invention of filtering paper provides at least a temporal treatment.

“After passing water through our filter, we found a reduction of greater than 99.9% in bacteria count,” Dankovich said in a video. “Which is comparable to the tap water in (the United States).”

The tech has not yet been perfected, though. While the paper does eliminate such fatal pathogens as typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, and E. coli, heavy metals from industrial pollutants remain a risk.

Consumers can expect to see the pasteurized pages on the market within 12 months. For more information, visit https://drinkablebook.tilt.com/the-drinkable-book .

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Health – NY Daily News

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