Ferns could be the key to a sorely needed low-cost, electricity-free purification system for millions.

Over 150 million people globally are exposed to arsenic contamination on a daily basis. Figures are ballpark — in Bangladesh, for example, where 35 to 88 million people are affected by the poison, data is hard to come by since autopsies aren't performed. But no one should mess around with arsenic. Just one drop can leave a swimming pool's worth of water unsafe for human consumption, with prolonged or increased exposure leading to cancer and death.

Stephen Goodwin Honan, 24-year-old U.S. Navy officer and Oxford University doctoral student, has proposed a novel solution he calls Clean Water. It was voted ‘Idea That Will Change The World' at London's Global Design Forum.

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