Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The LifeStraw personal water filter, the "Best Invention of 2005" (Time magazine), enables users to drink water safely from water sources which may be contaminated. LifeStraw is ideal for homeowners during emergencies such as local flooding which may contaminate drinking water supplies. LifeStraw is also useful for campers and hikers who may be drinking from rivers or lakes and unsure of the water safety. Because LifeStraw is lightweight and compact, it is also great for travelers who do not want to rely on the quality of local water.

LifeStraw surpasses EPA guidelines for Escherichia coli and Cryptosporidium oocysts, rigorous standards for water purification.

Eartheasy is an official launch partner for LifeStraw, which is now available for US and Canadian customers to purchase. Since 2005, LifeStraw has been used in developing countries to assist in achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals for clean drinking water. We're excited to help launch this useful product in North America.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) call for a reduction of the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by half between 1990 and 2015. Yet, an estimated 884 million people in the world, 37% of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa, still use unimproved sources of drinking water.

Lack of access to safe drinking water contributes to the staggering burden of diarrhoeal diseases worldwide, particularly affecting the young, the immunocompromised and the poor. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhoea. Diarrhoea kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined2. Drinking contaminated water also leads to reduced personal productive time, with widespread economic effects.

Approximately 43% of the global population, especially the lower-income populace in the remote and rural parts of the developing world, is deprived of household safe piped water. Thus, there is a pressing need for effective and affordable options for obtaining safe drinking water at home. Point-of-use (POU) treatment is an alternative approach, which can accelerate the health gains associated with the provision of safe drinking water to the at-risk populations. It empowers people to control the quality of their drinking water. Treating water at the household level or other point of use also reduces the risk of waterborne disease arising from recontamination during collection, transport, and use in the home, a well-known cause of water-quality degradation. In many rural and urban areas of the developing world, household water-quality interventions can reduce diarrhoea morbidity by more than 40%. Treating water in the home offers the opportunity for significant health gains at potentially dramatic cost savings over conventional improvements in water supplies, such as piped water connections to households.

Water filters have been shown to be the most effective interventions amongst all point-of-use water treatment methods for reducing diarrhoeal diseases7. The Cochrane review demonstrates that it is not enough to treat water at the point-of-source; it must also be made safe at the point-of-consumption.

LifeStraw® and LifeStraw® Family are both point-of-use water interventions – truly unique offerings from Vestergaard Frandsen that address the concern for affordably obtaining safe drinking water at home and outside. These complementary safe water tools have the potential to accelerate progress towards the MDG target of providing access to safe drinking water, which would yield health and economic benefits; thus contributing to the achievement of other MDGs like poverty reduction, childhood survival, school attendance, gender equality and environment sustainability.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing about LifeStraw. We're concerned about water issues worldwide, and are donating LifeStraws to individuals in developing countries. To purchase LifeStraws in the USA or Canada, visit: