Low Cost Water Filter Could Save Millions of Lives

A Bangladeshi professor has developed a cheap water filter that could save the lives of millions of people in the developing world who currently drink water filled with dangerously high levels of arsenic.

Arsenic occurs naturally in groundwater in many parts of the world, with the World Health Organization estimating that as many as 80 million people could be affected by arsenic poisoning. But water filtering systems used in the developed world are often out of reach of developing country’s budgets and expertise.

Enter Prof. Fakhrul Islam who invented a water filter that costs only $3 and can effectively filter arsenic out of water. The filter is a mixture of crushed bricks and ferrous sulphate that are heated. In tests by the United Nations, the filter led to a 20-fold decrease in the amount of arsenic in water.

The United Nations plans to give away the filter in villages across Bangladesh, and it could find applications in other countries with groundwater arsenic problems.

Sources:

Water filter set to save lives. Alistair Lawson, The BBC, July 14, 2002.

New water filter to combat arsenic and lead poisoning. Navakal.Com, July 14, 2002.

Life saving water filter good news for millions of Bangladeshi. Scientic News, August 2002.

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