Ebola and Water Purification


Due to the recent press regarding Ebola in the United States, there have been many requests from customers asking if our filters remove Ebola.  

Unfortunately, water filters and purification methods cannot be tested specifically for Ebola removal since testing facilities will not and cannot use Ebola virus as a test organism. 

Aquamira RED Line filters (slated to hit store shelves January 2015) have been tested and proven to remove ≥99.99% of virus per the ANSI/NSF standard 52 using MS-2 virus as the test organism.  MS-2 is smaller and more uniform in shape and consistency than Ebola. 

Aquamira water purification products (Water Treatment Drops and Water Purifier Tablets) utilize chlorine dioxide for water treatment. Only the Water Purifier Tablets have been certified by the EPA as a "water purifier". However, we still cannot make claims that it removes Ebola since manufacturer's cannot use Ebola virus as a test organism.

We are working with the EPA towards being able to make the claim that Aquamira Water Treatment Drops also act as a "water purifier" despite the fact that both products use the same active ingredient: chlorine dioxide. 

Chlorine Dioxide is a well-established disinfectant known to remove a variety of waterborne pathogens, including viruses, Cryptosporidium and Giardia. In addition, Chlorine Dioxide is a significantly stronger oxidant than iodine with greater pathogen killing power, so it is the preferred chemical treatment for water. 

There is one last bit of information I wanted to offer in regards to the difference between the drops and tablets. The main difference is the method of delivery of chlorine dioxide (ClO2). In the case of the tablets, ClO2 is generated when the tablet comes in contact with water and it bubbles off as the tablet dissolves. This entire process happens within the container of water that is intended to be treated, so essentially the entire chemical reaction is contained in one container. It is true that when treated according to instructions, the result of the reaction is a 4ppm concentration of ClO2 in 1L of water.

 The delivery method of the liquid is much more complex and many factors may come into play that could have an effect on the final concentration of ClO2.

 1. The chemical reaction begins when the Part B (activator) is added to the Part A (2% stabilized chlorine dioxide). This process happens in a separate mixing cup.

2. The reason that the instructions call for a reaction wait time of 5 minutes is so that the mixture can be added to the water at the peak of ClO2 production. If a person adds the mixture too early or late, the final concentration of ClO2 in the water can be significantly less than the required 4ppm.

3. Since the reaction occurs in an "open-air" environment in the mixing cup, some ClO2 is lost to the atmosphere around the cup. This is evidenced by the "smell" when mixing the solution. Our mixing instructions have taken this into account which is why at first look the liquid concentration in the final container would calculate to be higher than 4ppm. Mixing in a windy area or at higher temperatures can add to this potential loss of ClO2.

4. Once the reaction time is reached, it is important to pour the entire amount of liquid in the mixing cup into the water to be treated. Any leftover material in the mixing cup essentially reduces the concentration of ClO2 in the final container. We recommend pouring some of the treated water into the mixing cup and then pouring that back into the container of water to flush out any residual material from the mixing cup.

If all of these requirements are met in the mixing and dispensing of the liquid ClO2 into the final container of water, the resultant concentration of ClO2 should be virtually identical to that of the tablets.

While this is a lot of technical information, the important message we are trying to convey is that no one should be making claims that filters or water purification techniques remove Ebola since there are no testing facilities which can validate those Ebola claims.

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