Friday, February 17, 2012

CamelBak All Clear bottle purifies water in 60 seconds

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For those of you who are avid fans of the outdoors, or are just really concerned about having clean drinking water on the go, the hydration experts at CamelBak have got you covered. The company has recently announced the release of its “All Clear” bottle that has a UV-C light built into its cap capable of purifying water in 60 seconds. Good news if you are planning to travel to a region of the world that may not have potable water sources.

UV (ultraviolet) light technology has been in use since 1903 when Niels Finsen developed a method of using it against tuberculosis. Since that time, it has been put into practice for medical sanitation and work areas that require a sterile environment, such as the self-sanitizing keyboard. With recent advancements that have allowed manufacturers to build smaller, more powerful bulbs, companies like CamelBak have begun to leverage them for small-scale water purification.

Technically known as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), the process makes use of UV light that has a short enough wavelength to be a mutagen to the DNA of bacteria, viruses, and other micro-organisms that can cause health issues. UVGI employs a specific type of UV light called UV-C, which is the type installed in the All Clear.

When you switch on the All Clear and agitate the water, the UV-C light contained in the bottle goes to work destroying the reproductive capability of parasites and the aforementioned contaminants. This prevents a person from getting sick since the main cause of any water-borne illness is the rapid reproduction of the germs and bacteria overwhelming your body’s ability to fight off infection. UVGI is a highly effective method of sanitation, but there are some drawbacks.

First, UV-C cannot disinfect sediment or particles from drinking water, nor can it desalinate salt water from the sea. The process doesn’t actually remove anything from the water, it just makes it safe to drink. By now you may have put two and two together and realized that you are probably going to still consume the micro-organisms that cause illness, with the difference being that they have been rendered inert by the UV-C light.

The CamelBak All Clear retails at $99, which is a high-price for a water bottle. However, it’s a lot cheaper than a trip to the emergency room.

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