This is how it works: pages contain nano-particles of silver or copper, which kill bacteria in the water as it passes through.
In trials at 25 contaminated water sources in South Africa, Ghana and Bangladesh, the paper successfully removed more than 99% of bacteria, they said.
The residual levels of contamination are similar to US tap water, the researchers say. Tiny amounts of silver or copper also leached into the water, but these were well below safety limits.
The invention is American and developed by a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Teri Dankovich has been working on the technology for several years in coordination with McGill University in Canada and the University of Virginia.
"It's directed towards communities in developing countries," Dr Dankovich said, noting that 663 million people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water.
"All you need to do is tear out a paper, put it in a simple filter holder and pour water into it from rivers, streams, wells etc and out comes clean water - and dead bacteria as well," she told BBC news.
"Ions come off the surface of the nano-particles, and those are absorbed by the microbes," Dr Dankovich explained.
According to her tests, one page can clean up to 100 litres of water. A book could filter one person's water supply for four years.
This is an astonishing break through for countries that have grappling with providing clean drinking water. Projects for digging wells in rural locations could incorporate Ms. Dankovich’s book filters to complete an all encompassing project to find and filter water.
The marketing possibilities for book water filters are limitless. It could be sold to governments for use by the military in remote locations, as well as hikers and campers. But the most important application would be to undeveloped countries whose survival depends on clean drinking water.
is retired and lives in Clearlake, California. She has three grown
children and one grandson and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services
Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga California. On the
home front Dava enjoys time with her family, reading, gardening, cooking
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