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ACC Observes National Drinking Water Week

Celebrates 100 Years of Water Chlorination

ARLINGTON, Va., May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Chemistry Council (ACC) celebrates National Drinking Water Week, May 4-10, 2008, highlighting the importance of a safe, reliable water supply to the success of any community.

"Chemistry is essential to safe drinking water, from chlorine disinfectants that kill germs, to polymer membrane filters that remove impurities, to PVC pipes that help protect water all the way to your tap," said ACC President and CEO Jack N. Gerard.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the chlorination of drinking water -- one of the most significant public health advances in U.S. history.

In 1908, chlorine was first used to help provide safe drinking water in Jersey City, New Jersey and in Chicago's Union Stockyards. Over the next decade more than a thousand U.S. cities adopted chlorination, helping to dramatically reduce infectious disease and extend life expectancy.

The widespread use of chlorine and other clean water technologies is recognized as one of the most important public health achievements in U.S. history. Harvard University research suggests that, in the early 20th century, drinking water filtration and chlorination reduced typhoid fever death rates by more than 90 percent and childhood mortality by more than 50 percent in major U.S. cities.(1)

One hundred years after its debut in Jersey City, the vast majority of water systems continue to rely on chlorine disinfection to help provide safe water to families across America. Chlorine disinfection is also vital to healthy swimming pools, schools, daycare centers, healthcare facilities, restaurants and homes.

For more information, visit the 100 Years of Safer Lives website at

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care(R), common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $635 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

(1) Cutler, D. and Miller, G. (February, 2005). The Role of Public Health Improvements in Health Advances: The Twentieth-Century United States. Demography, vol. 42, no. 1, 1-22.

SOURCE American Chemistry Council
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