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Making any surface water drinkable

 
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Mats
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan, 2008 9:06 am    Post subject: Making any surface water drinkable Reply with quote

I just saw this promo for a "straw" that converts any surface water to drinkable water instantly. Have a look:http://www.wired.com/promo/acura/leadersadvancingtechnology/profile_nov.html


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ejm
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Making any surface water drinkable Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
I just saw this promo for a "straw" that converts any surface water to drinkable water instantly.


We had heard about this before and were looking for it last year at Mountain Equipment Co-op (which is where we'd thought we had seen it). We had thought it would be the perfect Christmas present to give to someone who travels in out of the way places. We were REALLY disappointed that they didn't have it and knew nothing about it.

So thanks, MEF, for pointing out the name of the product. I googled and found their actual site: lifestraw.com website

It isn't for sale to the general public; it's only available for institutions to purchase.

They appear to be for sale to the public at waterstraws.com. However, the following may explain why we couldn't get them at Mountain Equipment Co-op:

waterstraws.com wrote:
Please note, due to US FDA requirements, this item is currently not approved for use in North America/Canada, pending licensing.


Good old FDA!! They won't allow raw milk cheese either.

And, of course, they do allow bottled water so that there is even more plastic waste.

bottledwaterblues.com - bottled water vs filtered water


And speaking of reusing plastic rather than throwing it out after one use, it turns out that the following widely distributed statement is likely to be false:

hoax distributor wrote:
Plastic water bottles have been proved to break down into carcinogenic compounds when reused or frozen.


Read more about it here: snopes.com urban legends



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David
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan, 2008 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The LifeStraw looks like a good product. It might not meet the US EPA targets but the level of purity claimed is certainly enough to save many many lives.

The hoax distributor statement is another one of those unsubstantiated "it has been proven" or "studies have shown" claims that sadly seem to take in so many people.
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ejm
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan, 2008 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
The LifeStraw looks like a good product. It might not meet the US EPA targets but the level of purity claimed is certainly enough to save many many lives.


That's what I was thinking. And what I really like about it is that it appears to be quite portable. We carried iodine with us when we went to India to use for emergencies if we couldn't get bottled water. (Iodined water tastes terrible! not to mention that it's not really supposed to be all that safe for drinking in great quantities) I wonder if the carbon filter in the LifeStraw really does make the water tastes not as bad.

I gather that it does not protect well against giardia - which is perhaps why it has not been approved by the FDA.

David wrote:
The hoax distributor statement is another one of those unsubstantiated "it has been proven" or "studies have shown" claims that sadly seem to take in so many people.


It never ceases to amaze me that so many otherwise well-educated people get sucked into these hoaxes. Whenever I receive these cautionary email, I immediately think of a grade 10 class on advertising ploys. Hence, my first impulse is to google "hoax", rather than "sending this important warning to everyone on my mailing list".



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Mats
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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2008 9:18 am    Post subject: FDA approval Reply with quote

Since the LifeStraw is not intended for countries with potable water distribution systems (eg. United States) FDA approval is irrelevant to its distribution in the Third World. Distribution here has already begun :http://www.gizmag.com/lifestraw-personal-water-purification-device/8442/


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Lawless in Lotusland
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Feb, 2008 6:59 pm    Post subject: Re: FDA approval Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
Since the LifeStraw is not intended for countries with potable water distribution systems (eg. United States) FDA approval is irrelevant to its distribution in the Third World. Distribution here has already begun :http://www.gizmag.com/lifestraw-personal-water-purification-device/8442/


Sounds like a good idea, but I'm not sure I'd trust the straw over properly boiled or iodized water or even bottled water (which may not be that reliable in some places).


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Mats
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: It IS iodized water Reply with quote

We who have access to potable water never insist that it be boiled; we rely on filtration to remove pathogens and impurities as does the LifeStraw. As for iodization, well, that is what it does as well.


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PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know why the idea of drinking iodized water seems alarming to me after all iodine is a halogen just like fluorine and I've been drinking fluoridized water my entire life.
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
I don't know why the idea of drinking iodized water seems alarming to me after all iodine is a halogen just like fluorine and I've been drinking fluoridized water my entire life.


Iodized water tastes and looks terrible. (It's brownish...) Or at least that is the case with the iodized water we had the couple of times in India when we were uncertain about the drinking water we were given.

But I gather that LifeStrawII addressed this problem by putting the iodized water through a carbon filter. (I wonder how long the filter actually filters the water effectively and how easy it is to ascertain whether it is time to change the filter.)



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PostPosted: Wed 06 Feb, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: It IS iodized water Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
We who have access to potable water never insist that it be boiled; we rely on filtration to remove pathogens and impurities as does the LifeStraw. As for iodization, well, that is what it does as well.


In Canada water is also chlorinated. If one is unhappy with this, one can let the water sit for a bit.


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