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Zac Gleason - MSR Water Research Lab

Snapshot: MSR’s Decades of R&D in Water Treatment

MSR is developing a next-generation water purifier for households in developing countries. The promising technology is an exciting leap in global health innovation. Yet, it’s just the latest milestone in MSR’s deep commitment to advancing water treatment methods for users around the world. Here’s a brief look at how MSR’s efforts grew from outdoor products to global health technologies. 1990s: MSR’s ceramic water filter revolution By 1990, MSR had established itself as a trusted manufacturer of high-quality, rigorously tested gear for outdoor adventurers. That year, the team sought to develop a better water filter for backpackers and began researching filtration …

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BRINGING SAFE WATER TO HOUSEHOLDS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD

MSR is excited to receive a grant from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) for a water treatment system designed to bring safe water to households in the developing world. The MSR Global Health team has developed a low-resource treatment system that addresses issues with existing options and provides an open source platform that accepts technologies from 3rd parties, thus encouraging further innovation in this critical space. Read on to learn more. As the second leading cause of death in children under five, diarrheal disease takes the lives of more than half a million children around the world each year, according to the WHO. Yet, diarrheal disease can be prevented and …

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FIRST LOOK: MSR’S NEW WATER PURIFIER FOR DISASTER RELIEF

Many of us are used to the taste of chlorine in our water. In fact, we might not even notice it because it’s been added to our tap for years. But for people in developing countries who are unfamiliar with it, the taste of chlorine is foreign, and can even be frightening. This poses a problem for emergency crews who use chlorine to treat local water supplies following disasters to ensure it’s safe to drink. “The local people think they’re being poisoned or even given birth control because the water tastes strange to them,” says Scott Youmans, design engineer for …

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HELP MSR PROVIDE SAFE WATER TO VICTIMS OF RECENT NATURAL DISASTERS

Widespread devastation caused by hurricanes and earthquakes in Puerto Rico and Mexico have left hundreds of thousands of families without access to basic survival essentials, including safe drinking water. So how do you get safe water to people in need? You empower them to make it. The MSR SE200 Community Chlorine Maker is enabling communities in Puerto Rico and Mexico to create chlorine for safe water treatment on the spot. With your help we can get these devices into the hands of many more people, giving them a way to make their own safe drinking water. Click here to donate now. Our goal: …

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MSR DEVICE HELPS MALI VILLAGE CREATE ITS OWN SAFE WATER SUPPLY

In 2015, World Vision and MSR Global Health implemented the SE200 Community Chlorine Maker pilot project in Kenya and Mali. Developed by MSR in partnership with PATH, the Community Chlorine Maker provides a low-cost, portable, and easy-to-use solution for creating chlorine on the spot to treat contaminated water sources. As shared in our impact report, 110 of the devices were deployed to community water stations, schools, and health care centers. World Vision recently revisited Mali to check in on the Toribougou village, where six months earlier the village’s municipal water system broke down and disrupted the community’s access to safe water. Using the previously deployed …

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MSR ATTENDING 2017 UNC WATER AND HEALTH CONFERENCE

MSR Global Health will attend the 2017 UNC Water and Health Conference, where it will showcase MSR’s SE200 Community Chlorine Maker and a new purifier designed for disaster relief. MSR Global Health will also host an invitation-only design review for a new larger-scale smart chlorine generator. Organized by The Water Institute at The University of North Carolina, the annual Water and Health Conference gathers global leaders to discuss the most critical issues in water, health, and development, using science to inform practices and appropriate policy. “We’re excited to attend and learn from the global health community’s leading experts on water, sanitation and hygiene,” says …

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6 TECHNOLOGIES MSR IS DEVELOPING FOR GLOBAL HEALTH & DISASTER RELIEF

Research and development have always played a major role in MSR’s ethos as a company, dating back to our founding as a gear testing platform in 1969. For the past few decades, much of our R&D efforts have also been devoted to creating technologies for global health and disaster relief efforts. Many of these projects are funded by NGOs and government agencies, who turn to MSR for our world-class team of engineers and scientists and their ability to developed sustainable, low-cost and cutting-edge solutions. Take a look at just six of the projects the MSR R&D team is currently working on …

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WATER TREATMENT 101: VIRUSES

Originally published on February 12, 2015.  Viruses take the cake as tiniest of the waterborne disease-causing microorganisms—smaller than both protozoa and bacteria. These nasty little bugs are also the least understood by scientists, and cause the greatest range of symptoms across infected individuals. The good new is, in North American backcountries, viruses are typically considered much less of a concern than the other pathogenic threats. Why do viruses poses less of a threat in North American wildernesses? Viruses are very species-specific. In other words, they don’t infect just any host they come in contact with. If you catch a virus, its source was …

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Toilet Challenge: MSR’s Role in the Toilet of the Future

Imagine having no safe and sanitary place to, well… go. For many of us, it’s easy to take the toilet for granted. But today, 2.5 billion people worldwide still practice open defecation or lack access to sanitary facilities. And when human waste enters the same water supplies used for drinking and bathing, deadly diseases spread rapidly. In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation decided to tackle this unglamorous issue head-on by working with partners to improve the management of human waste around the world. They addressed the issue from three different aspects: 1.) revolutionizing the toilet, 2.) the sanitary emptying of pit latrines and …

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MSR Chlorine Makers Aid Response of Recent Ebola Outbreak in Congo

Thanks to weeks of intensive response efforts by a coalition of organizations, including MSR Global Health partner and innovation-leader PATH, a recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) appears to be contained. The first cases were reported in mid-May. Acting with urgency, PATH along with local, national and international agencies coordinated a rapid response, getting supplies, equipment and on-the-ground first responders into a remote area near the Central African Republic border. As they worked to control the spread of the disease, the responders, health care workers and community members needed a way to disinfect water, equipment, bedding …

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Celebrate World Water Day

Safe drinking water is a vital human need, but one that millions of people around the world still lack access to. On this World Water Day, MSR celebrates those who are working tirelessly to help tackle this global crisis. From our NGO and university partners, to local village leaders, to our in-house team, and those of you who contributed to our Community Chlorine Maker Campaign—thank you for your generosity, efforts and never-ending passion to improve lives. Together, we’re creating the important technologies and doing the hard work that leads to true and lasting change. Learn more about what MSR partners …

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Designing MSR’s Community Chlorine Maker

Since it debuted in 2015, MSR’s Community Chlorine Maker has provided many communities in the developing world with a simple water treatment tool that makes chlorine using just salt, water and electricity. While the device is revolutionary for advancing global health, the science and technology behind it is far from new. In fact, the technology dates back more than a decade to a product developed for the U.S. military. Today, many still remember that device: The MIOX Pen was a hand-held purifier that generated chlorine using only water, salt and electricity from two small batteries. 1998: MSR meets MIOX® By 1998, the military …

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This is the Most Important Piece of Gear We’ve Ever Made

By the MSR Global Health Team At MSR we believe in the power of technology to transform lives. We’ve witnessed how a stove can help change mountaineering history or how a tent can help enable a record-setting expedition. But this may be the most important piece of gear we’ve ever made. And we’re asking you to help us get it into the hands of the people who need it most. The problem: Help us get safe water to 500,000 people in need. Contribute NOW! Water is the most basic human need. But 1.8 billion people still get their daily drinking …

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Tiny Tablets Make a Giant Impact on Global Water Treatment

For more than 100 years, the chlorination of drinking water has been critical to reducing waterborne diseases around the world. As a water treatment method, chlorine is safe, effective and low-cost, making it practical for everything from large-scale municipal systems to family water treatment in rural villages of the developing world. It’s no surprise, then, that harnessing the benefits of chlorine in a tablet form would offer significant advantages—delivering chlorine’s benefits to many across the globe. For 20 years, Aquatabs® purification tablets have been doing just that. These tiny chlorine-based tablets have offered an innovative water treatment solution to backpackers, …

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MSR’s Water Lab Explores Technologies for Developing Nations

Just two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen, water itself is elemental. But the science behind clean water and water treatment technologies is complex. That’s why MSR is home to a dedicated water research lab. The five scientists who staff the lab develop and test water treatment solutions not just for MSR’s outdoor customers, but also for communities in the developing world that are faced with clean-water challenges. Take a look inside the lab to learn about the fascinating work this team does to keep MSR Global Health at the forefront of water treatment innovation. Next, read MSR’s Complete Guide to …

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The Well-Studied Water Treatment Benefits of Chlorine

The chlorination of public drinking water has been hailed as one of the most significant advancements in public health of the last century. Since its adoption in the U.S. in 1908, the initiative has helped to virtually eradicate most waterborne diseases in the industrialized world—an achievement that’s been central to the economic and social development of these nations. Today, the majority of municipal water supplies in the developed world are disinfected using chlorine-based solutions, either alone or in combination with others. Because of this, chlorine is thoroughly researched and scientifically well understood. Long has it proven to be a safe, …

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