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Release Date: 12/9/94
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To protect public health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revoked the registrations and ordered that sales of two drinking water filters be stopped because the Agency has reason to believe that false data was submitted to obtain the registrations. In addition, EPA is concerned that the claims and advertisements for these filters may imply that they can effectively purify raw water, when in fact they cannot. EPA officials recommend that consumers cease using the two filters, which are sold throughout the United States and internationally, and dispose of them immediately because they may pose a risk to public health.
The drinking water filters consist of a straw (AccuFilter Straw, EPA Reg. No. 64906-1) and a bottle (AccuFilter Bottle, EPA Reg. No. 64906-2). Each device is equipped with a silver-impregnated activated carbon filter designed to filter out sources of odor and taste from drinking water (EPA's registration approved the filters for use on potable water only). The registrant is AccuFilter International Inc., 9915 Southwest Arctic Drive, Beaverton, Ore. 97005.

The principal owner of AccuFilter International Inc., Bruce D. Spangrud, was indicted on Sept. 28, l994, by a Federal Grand Jury on two felony charges that he submitted false statements to obtain an EPA pesticide registration that allows him to sell the drinking water filtration devices. A criminal trial is scheduled in the Federal District Court in Portland on Dec. 20.

The Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order on the Accufilter devices was issued on Dec. 1 by EPA's Regional Office in Seattle. It prohibits further sale and distribution of the water filters. The registration revocation action was taken on November 8.

The water filters (sometimes referred to as 3-stage filters) were first registered on Nov. 6, l992. Prior to the registration, EPA discovered that the Company, then named Accuventure, Inc., was selling the devices prior to having them registered. The Agency issued a civil complaint asking for a civil penalty of $70,000. An Administrative Law Judge has since ordered the Company to pay the full amount. To date, AccuFilter International Inc. has not paid the penalty.

The Agency has determined that the data submitted in support of the AccuFilter registrations differed from the data generated by the laboratory which conducted tests on the filters for Accuventure. The data from the laboratory showed a higher level of silver released from the filters, therefore, a greater amount of silver in the drinking water after it passed through the filter. Excessive exposure to silver can cause argyria, a permanent

discoloration of the teeth and skin. Argyria is not a toxic effect, but an undesirable cosmetic change.

AccuFilter International Inc. also produces water purifiers. The purifiers (sometimes referred to as 5-stage filters) are sold as straws, sport bottle inserts, or canteen inserts, and contain iodine as the active ingredient. The Company claims they are effective in raw water (such as in streams and lakes) against giardia (harmful protozoa), bacteria and viruses. These 5-stage filtering devices have not been registered by EPA as required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The Seattle EPA Regional Office issued a stop sale and distribution order on the 5-Stage filters in Sept., l993. The Agency is currently evaluating the efficacy of these products.