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CHURCH & DWIGHT CO. TESTIFIES AT N.J. SENATE HEARING ON LEAD POISONING

CHURCH & DWIGHT CO. TESTIFIES AT N.J. SENATE HEARING ON LEAD POISONING
 WHO: Church & Dwight, Co., Inc., Princeton, N.J.,
 Manufacturer of ARM & HAMMER(R) Brand products, will testify
 at
 WHAT: N.J. Senate Health & Human Services Committee
 Public Hearing
 WHEN: Wednesday, April 29, 10 a.m.
 WHERE: Legislative Office Building
 Room 7
 Trenton, N.J.
 TOPIC: The Prevention and Treatment of Lead Poisoning in Children.
 Church & Dwight will present its Bicarb Method for Corrosion Control, a process by which simple baking soda, when added to the water supply, prevents lead pipes from corroding and leaching poisonous lead into drinking water.
 The process is environmentally sound (bicarb is present in most water sources) and inexpensive (2-3 cents per household per day). It has resulted in a more than 90 percent reduction of lead levels in Bennington, Vt. and Fitchburg, Mass.
 BACKGROUND:
 BAKING SODA HELPS COMMUNITIES REMOVE
 LEAD CONTAMINATION FROM DRINKING WATER
 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that the drinking water of as many as 42 million American households may be affected by lead contamination. The two main sources of such contamination, according to the EPA, are lead content in the construction materials of public water distribution systems and the corrosion of lead solder on newer copper plumbing.
 New water quality regulations will force many water suppliers and communities to find corrosion control treatments to lower lead and copper levels. One possible answer: baking soda.
 Fitchburg, Mass. reduced lead and copper levels in city water by more than 75 percent after implementing the ARM & HAMMER(R) Bicarbonate Method for Corrosion Control in July 1990.
 The "Bicarb Method" uses pure, natural baking soda to increase and maintain pH and alkalinity in soft water systems. When pH and alkalinity are monitored and kept within the proper range, a protective film forms on the insides of the pipes, preventing further corrosion and reducing the lead and copper that flakes off of the pipes and into the water.
 "We are very impressed with the Bicarb Method," says Lucille Gaudet, Fitchburg Water Commissioner. "Our initial results indicate that the treatment has been even more effective than anticipated. We experienced a dramatic reduction in the amount of lead in the water supply."
 By preventing the continued corrosion of the water supply pipes, the Bicarb Method also enabled town officials to replace the corroding pipes at a fiscally responsible pace. It thus eliminated delays that could have endangered the public's health.
 "The Bicarb Method is more environmentally sound than other remedies because it accomplishes the job without using harsh chemicals or phosphates," says Jim Sarapata, Church & Dwight Director of New Market Development.
 Church & Dwight attained similar results in a 15-year study of the Bicarb Method in Bennington, Vt. Terry Morse, Bennington Water Superintendent, reports that the Bicarb Method is extremely cost effective (2 to 3 cents per household per day) and has maintained a 90 percent reduction in lead levels in the town's drinking water throughout the 15-year period.
 The EPA itself has expressed its support for the Bicarb Method, stating that "Judging from Bennington's experience, sodium bicarbonate may well become one of the most popular weapons in the fight to keep our nation's water safe and potable." (A)
 Homes with plumbing that predates 1930 are most at risk, because lead pipes were commonly used at that time. However, newer pipes can also pose a risk because lead solder was, until recently, commonly used with copper plumbing.
 Some areas of the country are not seriously affected because the water is not corrosive. While water suppliers evaluate methods for complying with the new EPA regulations, homeowners can take steps to reduce possible lead and copper exposure.
 The first step is to assess the lead and copper levels in the water by having it tested by a licensed laboratory. Local water or health authorities or county extension agents should be able to identify certified laboratory services in your area, or call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
 CONTACT: Larry Hanauer of Burson-Marsteller, 212-614-5048, for Church & Dwight, Co.
 (A) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Bennington, Vt. Revisits Its Sodium Bicarbonate Water Treatment Method," Cooperative Environmental Management Message, Feb. 28, 1990, p. 1.
 -0- 4/28/92


CO: Church & Dwight, Co., Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: SU:

SH -- NY110 -- 3927 04/28/92 15:01 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1992
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