Little packets that can make water in the developing world safer to drink for a few cents a day were unveiled on Thursday, as they undergo field tests in the Philippines, Guatemala and Iraq.

Procter and Gamble, better known for Tide detergent and Crest toothpaste, said its PuR Water Purifier had the potential to save thousands of lives that would otherwise be claimed by diarrhoeal illness spread by foul water.

One four-gram packet of Pur, when added to 10 litres, coagulates impurities into a dark sludge that is then filtered through a plain cloth — leaving a bottle of clear potable water.
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