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“Water, water everywhere”, as in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a dilemma frequently encountered by healthcare practitioners in developing countries where water may not only be in short supply, but also of very poor quality. Indeed (untreated) water alone is responsible for a great variety of infections and other diseases.
We only have to go back a century or so ago to recall some of the cholera epidemics in Europe (the disease wasn’t fully eradicated across the region until the first half of the 20th century).
Therefore providing clean, sterilised water in healthcare can be a dilemma, and not only in the developing world, but also in more developed regions where there are different issues such as the various levels of purification required for each process, as well as balancing supply and demand; matters that we at Purite have to address in our everyday interactions with our clients.
Nonetheless, as the ethical company we are, we are always on the lookout for different techniques particularly those that may bring benefits to areas in need. In this respect, current research varies from the use of solar energy and lime juices(well, in essence exposing this solution to the sunshine!), to the more complex but promising technology of using plasma activated water (PAW).
This technique involves the use of filtration (preferably reverse osmosis as this is a very cost effective process) backed up by the injection of ionized plasma. This has proved to kill 99 percent of bacteria and, above all, to guarantee sterility for over a week.
Another process, developed by the University of Hull, involves the use of prophyrins to create ozone. The activated oxygen would naturally convert to its normal format once the process of purification is carried out, eventually leaving behind only inert glass beads depleted of porphyrins.
The decontamination of water in healthcare is a highly complex topic and some of the state of the art equipment we manufacture, like the Integra range, is developed for the type of cutting-edge technologies we are accustomed to in the more developed world, but ensuring that a precious and essential commodity like water is safe for everyone to use, and in particular in healthcare applications, must surely be a universal concern.