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ACS Raises Funds For Water Purification

by Sophie L. Rovner
March 28, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 13

Simple cleanup
Funds raised by ACS will pay for P&G packets that easily purify drinking water.
Funds raised by ACS will pay for P&G packets that easily purify drinking water.

The American Chemical Society has begun raising funds from employees as well as members to help people in developing nations purify household drinking water.

ACS will use the funds to purchase water purification packets through Procter & Gamble’s nonprofit Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) initiative. Each packet costs 3.5 cents and treats 2.5 gal of water. “We would define success as ACS members being able to provide over 1.5 million gal of clean water to areas of the world that are desperately in need,” says Lynn Hogue, chair of the ACS Committee on Community Activities.

P&G, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, developed the PUR technology to purify even heavily contaminated drinking water so it meets safe drinking water standards.

When added to water, the powder in a PUR packet dissolves and releases a chlorine disinfectant that kills bacteria and viruses. The packet also releases iron sulfate, a coagulant and flocculent that removes parasites, dirt, worms, heavy metals, and other pollutants that are then filtered out by pouring the water through cloth.

Since CSDW’s creation, P&G has distributed more than 300 million packets to 63 countries in partnership with 110 

ACS’s effort to support this initiative—dubbed “Pennies for PUR Water”—is part of the society’s International Year of Chemistry (IYC) 2011 activities.

“This effort fits in very nicely with ACS’s mission and vision as well as the goals of IYC 2011,” says Lee Latimer, chair of the ACS Local Section Activities Committee.

ACS is demonstrating the PUR technology at the ACS national meeting in Anaheim, Calif., and has collection points for funds at the Anaheim Convention Center. It will roll the program out to local sections after the meeting.

Contributions by check are welcome and should be made payable to ACS, with “Water Project” written in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to American Chemical Society; ATTN: Accts. Receivable; 1155—16th St., N.W.; Washington, D.C. 20036. For questions, contact LaTrease Garrison at (202) 872-6150 or



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