Kick back and pour yourself a nice cold glass of book. The Drinkable Book is an instructional manual about the importance of clean drinking water with a functionally clever twist: the pages of the book itself can be ripped out and used as water filters, removing 99% of bacteria from drinking water.
While working on her Ph.D. in chemistry at McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Theresa Dankovich developed a bactericidal silver nanoparticle paper, more eloquently named “pAge drinking paper,” that acts as an antibacterial substance. The nanoparticles of this invention proved lethal to microbes found in drinking water, and through experimental trials in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Haiti, they found that the paper was able to kill or remove up to 99% of bacteria in water. In fact, pAge drinking paper has proven so effective at bacterial removal that using it meets the EPA’s guidelines in the United States for safe drinking water.
These book page filters can last up to a month, and when combined with the several or so hundred pages that make up The Drinkable Book, can provide clean, safe drinking water for a year. With the success of her product, Dankovich teamed with Dr. Jonathan Devine, an earth and environmental engineer and WATERisLIFE to embark on a mission to mass-produce The Drinkable Book in order to bring cheap, clean drinking water to people in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, 663 million people are without access to clean drinking water.
Currently, they are collaborating with students at Carnegie Mellon University to perfect the design of the filter, after most recently testing the product in Bangladesh, which focused particularly on culturally appropriate designs for the product as well as how best to market the product in different areas of the world. So before you hipsters get to salivating over the idea of being able to purchase books that contain filters you can use to clean the water for your matcha tea, just understand that the point of The Drinkable Book is to alleviate the widespread problem of unsafe drinking water rampant in developing countries.
The goal is to produce 1,000 copies of The Drinkable Book and replace a big chunk of the text within the book with images and illustrations, as well as translating it into different languages, to reach the widest audience possible. The hope is that this innovative paper, which not only effectively filters and cleans the dirtiest of drinking water, but also has educational content on the pages itself, will combat the many health problems associated with unclean drinking water. Many pathogenic microorganisms, such as E. coli and cholera, thrive in unpurified drinking water in many developing countries.
As of now, The Drinkable Book is currently not available for purchase as they continue to refine and fine-tune pAge drinking paper. Those interested in helping the project along are encouraged to donate to the cause at their Indiegogo Campaign page.