U.S. military places order for MSR MIOX purifiers to destroy pathogens in drinking water

The Office of Naval Research has placed an order with Mountain Safety Research for 1,000 MSR® MIOX® Purifiers for the U.S. Marines.

SEATTLE, Sept. 17, 2003 -- For reconnaissance Marines, special operations forces, and other soldiers behind enemy lines in hotspots around the world, the ability to scoop water from a water source and then treat it in a safe location can mean the difference between life and death.

Mountain Safety Research (MSR), a developer of essential gear for challenging environments, today announced that the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has placed an order for 1,000 MSR® MIOX® Purifiers for the U.S. Marines.

This purchase by the ONR will join that of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), which has received an order for an additional 7,000 purifiers to ensure that U.S. troops have the most cutting-edge portable water purification technology available.

At a weight of over 8 pounds per gallon, and a three-day mission requirement of three gallons, lugging water around is a burden for the modern war-fighter. Water is an essential element for survival. The ability to use available water sources and purify that water in the field provides significant tactical advantage as it virtually eliminates the need to fly bottled water into safe zones. This saves money spent shipping water to the battlefield and is much less risky.

Easy to use and reliable, the MSR MIOX Purifier is a lightweight, handheld device about the size of a magic marker that uses electricity to convert common table salt and water into a powerful disinfectant. The purifier's small size and capacity to treat a large volume of water with a single dose make it ideal for any situation requiring pure water quickly and easily. This innovative new portable purifier is the first on the market to use electrolysis and MIOX mixed-oxidant technology at the proper doses to effectively eliminate common water pathogens such as E. Coli, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium, as well as other agents like VX nerve gas, Soman, the blister agent Lewisite, and the biological agents causing Anthrax, Plague, the Smallpox surrogate (Vaccinia), and Tularemia.

Development and commercialization of the MSR MIOX Purifier was a joint effort between MSR and the MIOX Corporation, an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based pioneer in mixed-oxidant water purification technology. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded the initial development. "It is gratifying when we see technology originally developed with DARPA funding reach the point that it can be used by our warfighters," noted Steve Wax, deputy director of DARPA's Defense Sciences Office.

The portable purifier is a miniaturization of MIOX's municipal water purification systems that have proven reliable, effective and safe in providing up to 1 billion gallons of water per day to consumers worldwide.

Exceeds US EPA Purifier Protocol Requirements

The MSR MIOX Purifier was subjected to testing at a qualified independent laboratory as defined by the US EPA "Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Water Purifiers." This testing was completed on waters with various levels of contamination. The device met or exceeded the US EPA microorganism inactivation requirements in all waters, meeting the requirements for a "Purifier" designation.

From Field Test to Battlefield

The MSR MIOX Purifier has also undergone stringent testing by the Air Force Medical Evaluation Support Activity (AFMESA). AFMESA conducted a limited military assessment under realistic field conditions using operations personnel and water sources at Fort Polk, LA and Albuquerque, NM. The Long Range Surveillance Detachment soldiers of the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne Divisions, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) Observer/Controllers, along with U.S. Marines from D Company, 4th Marine Reconnaissance Battalion used the purifier. They concluded that the purifier is easy to use and ideally portable for long-range patrols and other far-forward combat and reconnaissance warfighters.

Concurrent with the military tests, the MSR MIOX Purifier was field tested by Marines in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, and was shown to offer safe, portable drinking water, a lightweight and reduced footprint for on-the-move operations, fast action with a palatable taste - better than chlorine or iodine - and inactivation of even extremely resistant microorganisms by 99.9%.

Purifier Capabilities Demonstrated at Government's Dugway Proving Ground

The MSR MIOX Purifier has demonstrated effectiveness against Anthrax, the Smallpox surrogate, and those organisms that cause Plague and Tularemia, according to studies done at the Dugway Proving Ground government laboratories in Utah. The Purifier successfully destroyed the nerve agent Soman (GD) as well as the blister agent Lewisite (L). A 99% removal of Soman was achieved after 78 minutes, and Soman concentrations went to non-detect levels (less than 4 micrograms/liter) in 150 minutes. The mixed-oxidant solution removed Lewisite (L) to below detection in 30 minutes or less. Another chemical warfare agent, V-Agent (VX) was removed by approximately 99% in 130 minutes; virtually total removal of VX (less than 23 micrograms/liter) was achieved in 250 minutes. Testing on other chemical warfare agents is ongoing at Dugway Proving Ground.

Navy SEALS Test Purifier

The Center for Coastal and Maritime Security (CCMS) in Panama City, Florida is an integrated planning, research, development, testing and training center designed to equip and prepare local, state and federal agencies to respond to terrorist actions in the coastal and maritime environments. In 2002, Navy SEAL Team 8 at CCMS was provided with MSR MIOX Purifiers to test their efficacy in the field.

The SEAL Team concluded that the MSR MIOX Purifier would be an ally in treating water from a municipal water supply in the event of an attack. The team also felt that the purifier provided drinking water that had a superior taste to the common iodine tablets they currently use to treat water.

Easy to Use

The MSR MIOX Purifier is a breakthrough in portable water purification systems. Operation is simple. Add a few drops of water to the purifier and shake to create a brine solution. Press the button on the outside of the device to convert the brine solution into a mixed-oxidant (MIOX) solution via electrolysis (adding electricity). Pour this MIOX solution into the unpurified water and within 30 minutes(a) your water will be safe to drink. The device utilizes purity indicator strips, which verify that the treated water is free of microorganisms and has residual protection against re-infection.

Portable and Long-lasting Purification

At just 3.5 ounces, the compact lightweight design makes the purifier easy to pack and take along on journeys. The purifier offers an ideal water treatment solution for those who need to "scoop and run" and do not want to wait at the water's edge pumping water through a filter. The purifier will treat approximately 200 liters of water on one set of batteries. Any kind of salt can be used, including pellets, table salt, or rock salt. Additionally, the MSR MIOX Purifier has no shelf life concerns - the purifier will still function even if stored without use for many years. Batteries are included with the purifier.

More Effective

Portable mixed-oxidant technology delivers many advantages over other existing portable water purification methods. This reusable purifier and cost-effective technology is safer than iodine and chlorine tablets and doesn't leave an unpleasant aftertaste. Unlike portable ultraviolet light purification, mixed-oxidant technology allows the user to purify several gallons of water at a time, as opposed to just a 16-ounce glass, and also leaves a lasting residual to protect against recontamination in the drinking water container. Mixed oxidants are also more effective at purifying turbid water than ultraviolet light, providing the user a purification solution for any non-saltwater source.

Purifier Available to Both Military & Consumers

The MSR MIOX Purifier will be available to the military in the fall of 2003. For more information on military orders contact MSR 's Military Affairs Manager Kevin Gallagher at (206) 676-6028 or kevin.gallagher@cascadedesigns.com. This new technology will be available to outdoor enthusiasts and consumers in December 2003 at select MSR retailers for a suggested retail cost of $129.95.

For product samples, images or interviews, contact Michael Bourne of Mullen Public Relations at 650-210-9857 or Michael.Bourne@Mullen.com. More information on the MIOX Purifier or other MSR products is also available by calling 1-800-531-9531 or visiting www.msrcorp.com.

About Mountain Safety Research (MSR)

MSR, a division of Seattle, Washington based Cascade Designs Inc., has been providing essential gear for challenging environments for over 30 years. Our commitment to quality manufacturing and innovation ensures our customers are outfitted with the finest gear available for outdoor, military and homeland security use. MSR product lines include stoves, water filters and purifiers, tents, snowshoes, cookware, climbing gear, fuel and related accessories. For more information on MSR call 1-800-531-9531 or visit www.msrcorp.com.

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