NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The award-winning LifeStraw® personal water filter is now available to consumers in the U.S. and Canada for the first time. The portable filter—used since 2005 amid harsh conditions in developing countries—removes bacteria and parasites from water, and is ideal for outdoor activities, overseas travel, and emergency preparedness.
LifeStraw® is an elegantly simple but technologically advanced innovation. The filtering tube measures about nine inches long and one inch in diameter, and weighs less than two ounces. It removes virtually all bacteria (99.9999 percent) and protozoa parasites (99.9 percent) that can contaminate water, and it reduces turbidity (muddiness) by filtering out particulate matter.
LifeStraw® has been designed to last. The filter is made of durable plastic, is chemical-free, and does not require electrical power, batteries or replacement parts; it is powered by user-generated suction. When used properly, each LifeStraw® will filter at least 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water.
Anyone who can use a drinking straw can use a LifeStraw®; the user simply draws unfiltered water through the LifeStraw®, and blows air back through the straw to flush and clear it after drinking.
"Because LifeStraw® takes up virtually no space in a camper's backpack or a traveler's luggage, it offers easy access to safe drinking water when they're away from home," explained Paul Chen, North American regional director for Vestergaard Frandsen Inc., maker of LifeStraw®. "We also encourage families to consider including LifeStraw® in their disaster preparedness kits as safe drinking water can be hard to find in an emergency," he added.
Disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and floods often result in limited or compromised access to water systems. When water contaminated with bacteria or parasites is consumed, the outcome can range from gastrointestinal discomfort to serious diarrheal illness or even life-threatening disease.
Swiss-based Vestergaard Frandsen is a global leader in the development of disease control technologies. The company originally introduced LifeStraw® as an emergency response tool but also found practical applications for non-emergency needs in developing countries. In 2010, Vestergaard Frandsen distributed thousands of LifeStraw® personal water filters to victims of the Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods.
Rigorous laboratory testing of LifeStraw® conducted by the University of Arizona found that LifeStraw® performance exceeded U.S. EPA water filtration requirements for bacteria and parasites, including Escherichia coli, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia lamblia, and other waterborne pathogens.
LifeStraw® has received several accolades from media and the business community. In 2008, it won the Saatchi & Saatchi Award for "World Changing Ideas." Time named LifeStraw® the "Best Invention of 2005." Esquire called it "Innovation of the Year." Forbes praised LifeStraw® as "one of the ten things that will change the way we live."
Consumers can purchase LifeStraw® exclusively through online e-tailers Eartheasy (www.eartheasy.com, for U.S. and Canada) and Green Beetle (www.greenbeetlegear.com, for U.S.) for $19.95 plus applicable tax, shipping and handling. For more information, visit www.buylifestraw.com.
In celebration of the U.S. retail launch, both Eartheasy and Green Beetle will donate one LifeStraw® for every ten sold; donated product will be distributed to crisis-affected people in developing countries through Vestergaard Frandsen's partnership with Rotary International's Rotary 1090 Foundation.
Studio and field-based images of LifeStraw® are available upon request.
About Vestergaard Frandsen
Vestergaard Frandsen (VF) is a European company specializing in disease control products. VF operates under a unique humanitarian entrepreneurship business model, turning corporate social responsibility into its core business of creating life-saving products for the developing world. Strong support of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals is a defining characteristic of the company, and its products are designed to prevent waterborne, vector-borne and neglected tropical diseases.
Contact: Peter Cleary, Director of Communications,
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SOURCE Vestergaard Frandsen