Monday, May 2, 2011

Brass best bet to store water: Indian and UK scientists discover

Well, again a link, instead of a blog this space has become a sharing place, cant help it!  :-)


Brass best bet to store water: Indian and UK scientists discover

Ancient Indian wisdom that drinking water should be stored in brass vessels for good health has now been proved scientifically by researchers. Microbiologists say that water stored in brass containers could help combat many water-borne diseases and should be used in developing countries rather than their cheaper alternatives, plastic containers, researchers said.

Microbiologist Rob Reed, at Northumbria University in the UK who led the brass study, was quoted by Nature as saying that on a recent trip to India, he witnessed villagers doing exactly this. But he also heard an interesting piece of local wisdom: People believe that traditional brass water containers offer some protection against sickness. The idea, Nature added, intrigued Reed, who was in Asia investigating the anti-bacterial effects of sunlight on water. He has found that bacteria are indeed less likely to thrive in brass water pots than in earthenware or plastic ones. ‘‘It’s one of the traditional ideas of water treatment and we were able to find a microbiological basis for it,’’ he said.

Reed, with his colleagues Puja Tandon and Sanjay Chhibber, carried out two series of experiments. In Britain, they filled brass and earthenware vessels with a diluted culture of Escherichia Coli bacteria, which can cause illnesses. They then counted the surviving bacteria after six, 24 and 48 hours.

A similar test was carried out in India using naturally contaminated water. The amount of live E. Coli in the brass vessels dropped dramatically and after 48 hours, they fell to undetectable levels, Reed told the Society for General Microbiology’s meeting this week in Edinburgh. The key to the result is copper, which can disrupt biological systems, Reed explains.

No comments: