WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 Vestergaard Frandsen, a Europeancompany developing and selling disease control textiles, today announced thelaunch of LifeStraw(R) Family, a new point-of-use product designed to allowconsumers in the developing world to create safe and healthy homemade drinkingwater.
"I am thrilled to announce today's launch of LifeStraw(R) Family, arevolutionary product that has the potential to transform the lives ofmillions of people in the developing world -- especially young children,pregnant women and people living with HIV and AIDS -- by allowing them tocreate their own homemade drinking water," said Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen,the President and CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen. "The need for LifeStraw(R)Family is enormous. Currently, more than a billion people lack access to safedrinking water, and our product has the potential to save lives and reducesuffering on a massive scale."
LifeStraw(R) Family is an instant microbiological water purifier that canprovide, at an average, at least 10 liters of purified water an hour and morethan 10,000 liters over the product's lifecycle-enough to provide a typicalfamily with 1.5 years worth of clean and safe water. The product has beenextensively tested in the United States at the University of Arizona, andcomplies with US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines formicrobiological purifiers, and removes at least 99.9999% of all bacteria,99.99% of all viruses, and 99.9% of parasites. It also removes dirt fromwater.
"LifeStraw(R) Family will meet a critically important need in thedeveloping world, where up to five million people die each year from water-related diarrheal disease," added Mr. Vestergaard Frandsen. "The need for safeand clean water is especially acute for people living with HIV and AIDS.Chronic diarrhea is a leading cause of death for people with AIDS, and itaffects up to 90% of HIV patients. Further, diarrhea is one of the leadingcauses of morbidity and mortality among HIV-infected children. Thankfully,products like LifeStraw(R) Family can make a huge difference. In a study amongHIV-infected persons in Uganda, for example, the use of safe drinking waterdecreased diarrhea illness by 36%."
Recent studies have established that household interventions, likeLifeStraw(R) Family, are twice as effective in preventing diarrhea as commonsource-based interventions like new drinking wells, boreholes, and communaltap water stands. In 2006, The Cochrane Collaboration published a systematicreview of 38 randomized, controlled trials of various water qualityinterventions to prevent diarrhea. Of these interventions, filtration providedby far the most diarrhea reduction (63%), compared to other methods likechlorination (37%) and solar disinfection (31%).
LifeStraw(R) Family builds upon the success of LifeStraw(R) Personal, aportable water filtration device developed two years ago by VestergaardFrandsen and designed to be used outside of the home. Like its predecessor,LifeStraw(R) Family does not require electricity or batteries, making it idealfor use in difficult environments.
LifeStraw(R) Personal has earned many awards and accolades, including 'Oneof the Ten Things that will Change the Way We Live' by Forbes Magazine; 'BestInvention of 2005' by Time Magazine, and 'Innovation of the Year' by EsquireMagazine.
Founded in Denmark in 1957, Vestergaard Frandsen is an internationalcompany specializing in complex emergency response and disease controlproducts. With headquarters in Switzerland, branch offices in Denmark, India,Ghana, Nigeria, Vietnam, Kenya, USA and UAE, and licensed production in India,Vietnam and Thailand, Vestergaard Frandsen's international reach allows thecompany to quickly respond to complex emergency needs around the globe.
Vestergaard Frandsen strongly believes that business is for profit, butthat profit must be