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Big Water Utilities Offered Free Pharmaceuticals Testing

MILFORD, Massachusetts, March 31, 2008 (ENS) – The Waters Corporation, a publicly traded company, is offering complimentary tests for common over-the-counter and anti-depressant pharmaceuticals to any U.S. water authority that serves more than 100,000 customers. The company said this move is in response to recent reports of trace levels of drugs found in U.S. drinking water supplies.

Water authorities can apply for the free testing until April 19. “Requests will only be honored from authorized water officials and the results will be held in strict confidence,” the company said in a statement. No third party requests will be accepted.

“As a provider of analytical technologies capable of detecting trace levels of contaminants in water, food and the environment, Waters® is keenly aware of the broad impact that contaminants can have on our natural resources,” said Rohit Khanna, vice president of worldwide marketing for the Waters Division of the Waters Corp., a publicly traded company.

“As scientists, we at Waters believe in the need – and have the solutions – to assess baseline data to measure contamination levels, if any,” said Khanna.

Earlier this month, pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones were found in an Associated Press investigation to be in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans across the country.

Federal regulations do not specify permitted levels of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in drinking waters – they remain unregulated.

Khanna said Waters’ free water test offer is intended as a gesture of cooperation that he hopes will ensure residue-free drinking water supplies, and the first step is to know exactly what is in the water..

“Through this program we hope to work in cooperation with U.S. water authorities to better assess the public’s exposure to pharmaceutical residues and assist them with potential action plans,” said Khanna.

Waters will test submitted samples using the fast throughput AquaAnalysis System. In 30 minutes the system detects a range of contaminants in drinking water at or below 10 parts-per-trillion, meeting or exceeding regulatory standards worldwide.

These complimentary tests will not be validated or certified, and are only intended as an initial screen for the detection of pharmaceutical residues, said the company, which adds that the data will provide a baseline understanding of exposure to facilitate long-term solutions.

The company says Waters chemistry products currently are used by the U.S. EPA to identifies pharmaceuticals and personal care products in environmental samples.

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