LifeStraw: Thirsty? Suck it up.

Think your tap water is icky? Think again. If you've got drinkable running water at home you're better off than billions of other people — and we do mean that literally. In many parts of the world the daily routine of the "lucky" involves walking several miles to fetch clean drinking water, for others, there is none no matter how far you go. It's estimated that half of the world's poor suffer from waterborne diseases. A shocking 6,000 people die daily from consuming unsafe water. To combat this situation the Danish company Vestergaard Frandsen has created a clever portable water filtration system called the LifeStraw. Designed to be worn around the neck, this life-saving accessory scores big time points for functionality, transforming any old muddy puddle into a refreshing sip of water. Best of all, it requires no training to use and lasts for roughly a year (if used by a single person) without any maintenance what so ever.

The device contains a filtration system that puts your Brita Filter to shame. Its three-stage, hydrogen-based iodine impregnated resin and carbon filtration system filters out 99.99 percent of parasites and bacteria. Heavy metals and viruses can slip through the filter and it is not recommended for tourists.

LifeStraw was recently on display at Wired NextFest in New York in the Future of Health pavilion. To date, a mere 100,000 have been handed out, 70,000 to earthquake victims in Kashmir last year. Some additional field-testing is required before the $3 gadget becomes an agent in improving world health however. Already its been getting some good press.

We applaud this effort inspired by the "ambitious" Millenium Development Goal of 'reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water' by the year 2015. Our only question is how do you recycle the LifeStraw after its done its 1 year tour of duty? :: LifeStraw