Personal water filter offers safe drinking alternative for away from home and in emergencies
The LifeStraw personal water filter is now available to consumers in the U.S. and Canada for the first time. The portable filter, used since 2005 amid harsh conditions in developing countries, removes bacteria and parasites from water, and is ideal for outdoor activities, overseas travel and emergency preparedness.
The LifeStraw filtering tube measures about 9 in. long and 1 in. in diameter, and weighs less than two ounces. It removes virtually 99.9% of all bacteria and protozoa parasites that can contaminate water and reduces turbidity by filtering out particulate matter. When used properly, each LifeStraw will filter at least 264 gal of water. The user simply draws unfiltered water through the LifeStraw, and blows air back through the straw to flush and clear it after drinking.
"Because LifeStraw takes up virtually no space in a camper's backpack or a traveler's luggage, it offers easy access to safe drinking water when they're away from home," said Paul Chen, North American regional director for Vestergaard Frandsen Inc., maker of LifeStraw. "We also encourage families to consider including LifeStraw in their disaster preparedness kits as safe drinking water can be hard to find in an emergency," he added.
Disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and floods often result in limited or compromised access to water systems. When water contaminated with bacteria or parasites is consumed, the outcome can range from gastrointestinal discomfort to serious diarrheal illness or even life-threatening disease.
Laboratory testing of LifeStraw conducted by the University of Arizona found that the product’s performance exceeded U.S. EPA water filtration requirements for bacteria and parasites, including Escherichia coli, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia lamblia, and other waterborne pathogens.