For Jackson State University graduate student LaMonté Pierce what started out as a class project focused on addressing an issue faced by communities in Mississippi led to the creation of a product designed to combat lead poisoning in water, WJTV reported.
Pierce and other students that he collaborated with decided to use the assignment as an avenue to address water contamination impacting the City of Jackson. They designed a straw that could be used to filter water. Pierce and his classmate Andrew Willis decided to go beyond the project and continue to do research and testing to turn the straw into a product that would be a catalyst in addressing water contamination in communities across the globe. Pierce’s efforts led to the creation of Cleanstraww. The straws are made of non-toxic materials and has a three-step filtering process which divides sediment and particles from water. He utilized a 3-D printer for the creation of the straw.
“I saw somewhere they were drinking out of toilets, they were drinking from the river, different things like that. They use simple filters that you can find in everyday filters, but the thing was they did not filter out lead. If we can filter out lead, we can pretty much filter out anything,” he told the news outlet. “Take the responsibility of clean water directly out of the government, state and city officials hands and put it in the hands of the consumers. If you want clean water, here you go.” Several national retailers have expressed interest in selling his product, including Walmart. Pierce hopes that he can find investors for his product to grow his business and create more jobs in Mississippi.
Products like Cleanstraww are needed. According to CBS News, lead in America’s water systems has become a growing national crisis.