NSF-WHO center, ILSI to host 2006 hard water, nutrition symposium

NSF International, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Drinking Water Safety and Treatment, and the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) yesterday announced a new international symposium on the health effects of consuming drinking water containing magnesium and calcium. The International Symposium on Health Aspects of Magnesium and Calcium in Drinking Water will be held on April 24-26 in Baltimore, Md., and will be followed by a key meeting of WHO experts...

ANN ARBOR, MI, Dec. 9, 2005 -- NSF International, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Drinking Water Safety and Treatment, and the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) yesterday announced a new international symposium on the health effects of consuming drinking water containing magnesium and calcium. The International Symposium on Health Aspects of Magnesium and Calcium in Drinking Water will be held on April 24-26 in Baltimore, Md., and will be followed by a key meeting of World Health Organization (WHO) experts.

A 2003 committee report to WHO on nutrition and drinking water concluded that epidemiological studies on cardiovascular disease indicated that there may be health benefits to those who consume drinking water containing magnesium and calcium. The primary area of focus will be the relationship between calcium and magnesium in drinking water on certain cardiovascular disease and other health conditions, such as osteoporosis. Additional topics will include the epidemiology, dietary intake, biochemistry and health effects of magnesium and calcium as well as the practical concerns, such as treatment technology and costs associated with adding magnesium and calcium to drinking water.

The symposium will feature technical papers and discussions with international experts on drinking water composition, mineralization, epidemiology, physiological mechanisms, nutrition, water treatment and public health. Speakers will include Dr. Gerald Combs, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Human Nutrition Research Center, Dr. William Weglicki, professor of physiology and experimental medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Dr. Regu P. Regunathan, president ReguNathan & Associates and member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Drinking Water Advisory Council. Professionals from medical, public health, nutrition and dietary supplements, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and water treatment industries will be among those in attendance.

"The prevalence of natural hard and soft water supplies, bottled water of various types, and the increased use of reverse osmosis and desalination technology, as well as water softeners and other technologies that have the ability to remove calcium and magnesium in drinking water, makes this a timely symposium that could affect all segments of the drinking water community," said Stan Hazan, senior director of regulatory affairs at NSF International. "This symposium will convene key experts and create an interactive forum for an in-depth analysis of the potential benefits of magnesium and calcium in drinking water."

To participate in the symposium as a sponsor or attendee, to submit a poster or for more information, please visit www.CaMgWater.org or call Dr. Joe Cotruvo at 202-362-3076. Immediately after the symposium, a WHO expert meeting will convene to examine the information that is presented and prepare recommendations to WHO.

Founded in 1978, the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) is a nonprofit, worldwide foundation that seeks to improve the well-being of the general public through the advancement of science. Its goal is to further the understanding of scientific issues relating to nutrition, food safety, toxicology, risk assessment, and the environment by bringing together scientists from academia, government, and industry.

NSF International (www.nsf.org), an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, air and consumer goods. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd., organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.

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