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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Health Update

Air Date: Week of

Living On Earth’s Diane Toomey reports on how the level of social disorder in your neighborhood may contribute to your level of depression.


GRABER: When natural disasters strike, drinking water supplies can become contaminated, causing a host of unpleasant and debilitating illnesses. So scientists in New Mexico have developed a battery-powered water purifier that looks like a small, pen-shaped device. You drop a salt pellet into two milliliters of water, then twist the top of the pen. This action creates an electrical current, which runs through the solution and changes molecular bonds, leaving chlorine and oxygen molecules in an electron hungry state. Then you pour the solution into contaminated water, and the reformulated chlorine and oxygen molecules start grabbing electrons from other molecules nearby. All this electron-grabbing can kill enough bacteria and viruses to make a liter of water safe enough to drink, even by EPA standards. And that's this week's technology update. I'm Cynthia Graber.



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