New P&G Technology Improves Drinking Water in Developing Countries

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Procter & Gamble Company

    ATLANTA, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A new product system, developed by The
 Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), makes water in developing countries germ-free,
 leaving it clear and drinkable.
     According to public health experts, these benefits might encourage more
 people in developing countries to effectively purify their drinking water --
 and, as a result, reduce illness caused by water-borne diseases.
     These findings, from a just-completed study, were presented today at the
 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) annual Epidemic
 Intelligence Service Conference in Atlanta.
     The research was conducted among 100 households in Guatemala by CDC
 epidemiologists Josefa Rangel, M.D., and Steve Luby, M.D., as well as
 researchers from the Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit (MERTU) in
 Guatemala and P&G.
 
     NEW PRODUCT SYSTEM
     P&G's new product is actually a two-step system.
     First, the consumer mixes a small packet of a powder in a vessel of water.
 The powder contains both a "flocculant," which seizes and separates
 contaminants in the water, and chlorine, a common disinfectant.  After
 stirring, contaminants in the water fall to the bottom, forming a visible
 sediment.
     These contaminants can include dirt, pesticides, toxic heavy metals, such
 as arsenic and lead, as well as bacteria, viruses and protozoa that are
 resistant to chlorine alone.
     Second, the consumer pours the contents of that vessel through a filtering
 cloth into a larger container for clean storage and dispensing.  A level of
 chlorine is left behind to ensure cleaner drinking water.
     P&G scientists developed this new system after consulting with the CDC and
 other public health experts.  From its work with laundry bleach, P&G learned
 that chlorine alone, which many people in developing countries use to
 disinfect their drinking water, isn't ideal.
     To kill harmful micro-organisms, people often use too much chlorine, which
 causes the water to taste and smell bad.  This sometimes leads people not to
 purify their drinking water at all.  Also, many families in these countries
 have access only to turbid, or murky, water, where chlorine is less effective
 in killing harmful micro-organisms.  P&G's new system uses the right amount of
 chlorine.
     Drawing on its knowledge of how to clean water and its expertise in health
 care, P&G developed the two-step system, which is now being tested.  Patents
 are pending.
 
     INITIAL RESULTS ENCOURAGING
     The results being presented at the CDC conference today are early, but
 encouraging.
     One hundred households from four neighboring Guatemalan villages were
 randomly selected for the study, which ran for four weeks in late 2000.
 Researchers measured bacterial contaminants and turbidity levels - in both the
 source and treated household waters.
     The results:  the new P&G system purified water as effectively as chlorine
 alone, but without the negative taste and smell attributes.  Also, those who
 used the P&G system were twice as likely to judge their water as clear
 compared to persons who used chlorine alone.
     In effect, this study confirms that P&G's new system works as intended,
 and that consumers can easily use it to effectively purify their drinking
 water.  P&G is now working with the CDC to conduct further research to show
 how the new system might improve consumers' health.
     Commenting on the results reported today, Dr. Rangel stated:  "This new
 system was well-accepted, tended to decrease turbidity, effectively
 chlorinated water, reduced bacterial contaminants and improved the water's
 clarity.  It appears to offer an alternative method for providing safe
 drinking water."
     Based on the encouraging initial results, P&G will open a learning market
 in a developing country soon.  The company expects the new system will be
 affordable, even for low-income consumers.
 
     SAFE WATER AND THE WORLD'S HEALTH
     Three million children die annually from illness caused by unsafe drinking
 water.  Diarrhea alone claims more than two million children a year.
 Contaminated water causes more than half of all diarrheal disease cases in
 children.
     More than one billion people in low-income countries do not have access to
 safe drinking water.  The CDC estimates that providing access to safe drinking
 water could prevent hundreds of millions of cases of diarrhea and more than a
 million childhood deaths a year.
 
     PROCTER & GAMBLE
     P&G sells 300 brands in more than 140 countries.  In 1999, P&G acquired
 Recovery Engineering, Inc., which makes the PuR brand of home water filter
 devices.  The company's new system for the developing world is based on a
 combination of P&G's deep expertise in water management and PuR technology.
     Water, health and hygiene are the focus areas for P&G's sustainable
 development strategy.  Sustainable development looks at the synergies among
 the environment, social equity and economic development.
 
 

SOURCE Procter & Gamble Company
    ATLANTA, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A new product system, developed by The
 Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), makes water in developing countries germ-free,
 leaving it clear and drinkable.
     According to public health experts, these benefits might encourage more
 people in developing countries to effectively purify their drinking water --
 and, as a result, reduce illness caused by water-borne diseases.
     These findings, from a just-completed study, were presented today at the
 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) annual Epidemic
 Intelligence Service Conference in Atlanta.
     The research was conducted among 100 households in Guatemala by CDC
 epidemiologists Josefa Rangel, M.D., and Steve Luby, M.D., as well as
 researchers from the Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit (MERTU) in
 Guatemala and P&G.
 
     NEW PRODUCT SYSTEM
     P&G's new product is actually a two-step system.
     First, the consumer mixes a small packet of a powder in a vessel of water.
 The powder contains both a "flocculant," which seizes and separates
 contaminants in the water, and chlorine, a common disinfectant.  After
 stirring, contaminants in the water fall to the bottom, forming a visible
 sediment.
     These contaminants can include dirt, pesticides, toxic heavy metals, such
 as arsenic and lead, as well as bacteria, viruses and protozoa that are
 resistant to chlorine alone.
     Second, the consumer pours the contents of that vessel through a filtering
 cloth into a larger container for clean storage and dispensing.  A level of
 chlorine is left behind to ensure cleaner drinking water.
     P&G scientists developed this new system after consulting with the CDC and
 other public health experts.  From its work with laundry bleach, P&G learned
 that chlorine alone, which many people in developing countries use to
 disinfect their drinking water, isn't ideal.
     To kill harmful micro-organisms, people often use too much chlorine, which
 causes the water to taste and smell bad.  This sometimes leads people not to
 purify their drinking water at all.  Also, many families in these countries
 have access only to turbid, or murky, water, where chlorine is less effective
 in killing harmful micro-organisms.  P&G's new system uses the right amount of
 chlorine.
     Drawing on its knowledge of how to clean water and its expertise in health
 care, P&G developed the two-step system, which is now being tested.  Patents
 are pending.
 
     INITIAL RESULTS ENCOURAGING
     The results being presented at the CDC conference today are early, but
 encouraging.
     One hundred households from four neighboring Guatemalan villages were
 randomly selected for the study, which ran for four weeks in late 2000.
 Researchers measured bacterial contaminants and turbidity levels - in both the
 source and treated household waters.
     The results:  the new P&G system purified water as effectively as chlorine
 alone, but without the negative taste and smell attributes.  Also, those who
 used the P&G system were twice as likely to judge their water as clear
 compared to persons who used chlorine alone.
     In effect, this study confirms that P&G's new system works as intended,
 and that consumers can easily use it to effectively purify their drinking
 water.  P&G is now working with the CDC to conduct further research to show
 how the new system might improve consumers' health.
     Commenting on the results reported today, Dr. Rangel stated:  "This new
 system was well-accepted, tended to decrease turbidity, effectively
 chlorinated water, reduced bacterial contaminants and improved the water's
 clarity.  It appears to offer an alternative method for providing safe
 drinking water."
     Based on the encouraging initial results, P&G will open a learning market
 in a developing country soon.  The company expects the new system will be
 affordable, even for low-income consumers.
 
     SAFE WATER AND THE WORLD'S HEALTH
     Three million children die annually from illness caused by unsafe drinking
 water.  Diarrhea alone claims more than two million children a year.
 Contaminated water causes more than half of all diarrheal disease cases in
 children.
     More than one billion people in low-income countries do not have access to
 safe drinking water.  The CDC estimates that providing access to safe drinking
 water could prevent hundreds of millions of cases of diarrhea and more than a
 million childhood deaths a year.
 
     PROCTER & GAMBLE
     P&G sells 300 brands in more than 140 countries.  In 1999, P&G acquired
 Recovery Engineering, Inc., which makes the PuR brand of home water filter
 devices.  The company's new system for the developing world is based on a
 combination of P&G's deep expertise in water management and PuR technology.
     Water, health and hygiene are the focus areas for P&G's sustainable
 development strategy.  Sustainable development looks at the synergies among
 the environment, social equity and economic development.
 
 SOURCE  Procter & Gamble Company