Culligan Eases Consumer MTBE Contamination Concerns; Consumers Need to Take Personal Responsibility for Home Water Quality

Jul 19, 2000, 01:00 ET from Culligan International Company

    SHEBOYGAN, Wis., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- In answer to growing national
 concern regarding water contamination by methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE),
 Culligan International Company announced today the introduction of a
 cost-effective product that significantly reduces the amount of contaminants
 such as MTBE that might affect some water supplies.  Available to consumers
 nationwide through various retail establishments as well as all Culligan
 dealerships, the Culligan SY-2300 MTBE Filtration System is one of the only
 retail MTBE water filters to meet NSF International's stringent testing
 methods and gain NSF certification.  Proven to remove approximately 90 percent
 of MTBE from most water supplies, the Culligan SY-2300 filtration system
 allows consumers to continue enjoying water from their home tap, while easing
 concerns over the presence of MTBE in their water supply.
     An oxygenated fuel additive used in reformulated gasoline, MTBE is
 intended to reduce emissions from motor vehicles.  If this chemical seeps into
 our water supply via gasoline spills, leaking storage tanks, emissions from
 marine engines or airborne precipitation, it may pose a serious health risk to
 the water we drink.  Just within the past year, some level of MTBE was
 detected in 49 states' water supplies.  This finding has helped raise national
 concern over the continued use of the additive and the potential impact on the
 health of millions of Americans.  According to the Environmental Protection
 Agency (EPA), MTBE in drinking water sources is of concern because at high
 concentrations it is a potential human carcinogen.  While the carcinogenic
 effects of MTBE on humans have not yet been substantiated, repeated exposure
 has been proven to produce such side effects as eye, nose and throat
 irritation; headaches; coughing; nausea; dizziness and disorientation.
     "Issues like MTBE are teaching consumers that they simply cannot take for
 granted the quality of their home drinking water," noted Gary Hatch, Ph.D.,
 chemical engineering manager and laboratory director at USFilter - Plymouth
 Products, a subsidiary of Culligan International Company.  "Because numerous
 contaminants can reach your water and present new health risks each year,
 homeowners need to educate themselves on the water they drink.  Even the
 highest quality water can pick up contaminants between the time it leaves the
 water treatment plant and when it exits the homeowner's faucet.  The best way
 to ensure that your water meets your expectations is to take personal
 responsibility and utilize a home filtration device."
     According to David Bentley, program representative for NSF International,
 the world's leading independent, non-profit organization dedicated to
 environmental and public health safety, "Culligan was the first manufacturer
 of water treatment systems that looked to address the public's concern of MTBE
 contamination in drinking water."  He adds that, "Currently Culligan is  the
 only manufacturer with a system available in the retail market that is
 NSF-certified for MTBE reduction with a 500-gallon capacity."
     The Culligan SY-2300 MTBE Filtration System uses an activated carbon
 filter to significantly reduce bad taste and odor, MTBE, and other
 contaminants, including Cryptosporidium and Giardia cysts, lead, certain
 pesticides and herbicides, certain other organic chemicals, chlorine,
 asbestos, sediment and mercury.  The product, an under-the-sink model with
 separate faucet, will hit store shelves in July and will sell for
 approximately $135.
     The contaminants removed by the Culligan SY-2300 MTBE Filtration System
 are not necessarily in your water.  Certain contaminants do not necessarily
 pose a health risk.  Culligan International Company manufactures and
 distributes water treatment products for retail, household, bottled water, and
 commercial applications worldwide.  A division of USFilter, Culligan is among
 the most widely recognized brand names in America, having been in business
 since 1936.  USFilter, is a leading global provider of commercial, industrial,
 municipal and residential water and wastewater treatment products and
 services.  Culligan invites you to visit their web site at

SOURCE Culligan International Company