Macinley Butson is an 18 year old from Wollongong in NSW who has invented a sticker that tests when water is safe to drink, that is capable of potentially saving millions of lives from dangerous biologically contaminated water.
Last week this invention earned the finalist in the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards the prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize. She is the first Australian to win the award which she received from Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria at a gala ceremony.
The 2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year was in Sweden representing Australia at the International World Water Week.
There she presented the SODIS Sticker, a device invented to accurately measure the amount of solar UV radiation needed to disinfect dirty water to make it safe to drink for people in developing countries. The unique part of this discovery is that the sticker can be made for less than one cent making it affordable and easy to use.
“Eighteen months ago, I was in high school like most other 17 year old’s,” Butson told Women’s Agenda. “One thing that was different about me was my wish to aid humanity. I knew I could achieve this using my creativity and inventiveness. I just needed to have the focus and drive to work through my ideas to make them a reality. I now have 2 products which are ready for use in the medical field and the environmental engineering field.”
She says the SODIS Sticker is a unique UV radiation detector which has been optimized to measure the amount of solar UV radiation required to provide solar disinfection to water to remove biological pathogens and make it safe to drink.
“I am staggered by the fact that on average 6000 children die from water related diseases each DAY!,” Butson says. “My SODIS Sticker, which costs less than 1 cent to manufacture as a prototype can accurately let any user, even a child, know if the water has received enough Solar UV exposure to make it safe to drink.”
In addition to the SODIS Sticker, Butson has developed the SMART Armour, a radiation shield that has the potential to remove up to 80% of unwanted radiation exposure reaching non-treated breast during radiotherapy cancer treatment.
“Whilst the radiotherapy treatment is essential for the patient, there is radiation which goes onto the contralateral breast during treatment. My SMART Armour, which stands for Scale Maille Armour for Radiation Therapy can be placed over the other breast during treatment and has been shown to remove up to 80% of this unwanted radiation without affecting the doctors treatment in any way for the cancer,” Butson says. “It has received TGA approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia and is ready for clinical use.”