Contaminated water is a killer.  In 1849, nearly one million Russians died of cholera while typhoid fever claimed the lives of six out of seven colonists at the Jamestown settlement, and disabled one-fifth of the entire U.S. army during the Spanish-American war.  But is this problem just one for the history books?  Sadly, the answer is no.  According to an article in Scientific American, one billion people still lack access to safe drinking water, and as a result, some three million die and hundreds of millions more are made very sick each year in places like Somalia, Argentina, and Nepal.  Since chlorination and proper sanitation provide a simple solution, here’s hoping it won’t be too long before this waterborne health threat is filtered out for good.

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