PISCATAWAY, N.J.(April 11, 2012) — One of the world’s best known toilet brands has taken up the challenge to improve safety and sanitation in developing world countries. American Standard Brands has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and test a low-cost, prefabricated toilet system.
Lack of adequate sanitation facilities affects around 40 percent of the world’s population, and around 1.2 billion people worldwide practice open defecation. An estimated 1.6 million people, mostly children under the age of five, die each year from water and sanitation related diseases.
“A majority of these deaths are preventable through access to proper sanitation, safe drinking water and improved hygiene,” said Jay Gould, American Standard Brands president and chief executive officer.
In collaboration with the Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy, and the International Development Enterprises (iDE), American Standard engineers will work to develop a prefabricated toilet system that is more hygienic, easier to install, easier to maintain and clean, and can be economically mass-produced.
“Our goal is to develop a safe, affordable, latrine for the developing world that does not require a water and sewer based infrastructure,” explained project director, Jim McHale, Ph.D., American Standard Brands vice president, engineering. McHale notes that improved sanitation will help achieve the United Nations’ 2015 Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the proportion of people who lack safe drinking water and basic sanitation by the year 2015.
ABOUT AMERICAN STANDARD BRANDS
American Standard Brands is a leading North American manufacturer of a wide range of high-quality building products, including faucets, fixtures, furniture, vitreous china fixtures, cast iron sinks, whirlpool tubs and other wellness products for the bath and kitchen as well as decorative panels. The company currently offers total project solutions for residential and commercial customers; employs more than 5,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico; and markets products under well known and respected brands, such as American Standard®, Jado®, Porcher®, Safety Tubs®, Crane Plumbing®, Eljer®, Fiat® and Decorative Panels International®. American Standard Brands is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners. The company is online at www.americanstandard.com, on Twitter at twitter.com/AMStandard and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanStandardPlumbing.
Progress on sanitation and drinking water: 2010 update. WHO / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), 2010.
Daigo Ishiyama (right), an industrial designer with American Standard Brands, interviews a villager in Bangladesh, along with a representative from the International Development Enterprises (iDE). American Standard personnel recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Bangladesh, with the goal of developing a low-cost, prefabricated toilet system for developing world countries
Next to a typical Bangladesh latrine, a villager holds a "bodna" which holds about one liter of water and is poured down the latrine after use. The pit is directly under the latrine, allowing flies to easily enter and exit the pit, spreading disease. American Standard Brands, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, hopes to develop and test a low-cost, prefabricated toilet system that can correct this unsanitary practice.
Daigo Ishiyama, an industrial designer for American Standard Brands, approaches the latrine of a Bangladesh family. Ishiyama, a toilet designer, together with Vice President of Engineering Jim McHale, PhD (not pictured), quite literally a toilet scientist, are leading American Standards innovation team in developing and testing a low-cost, prefabricated toilet system to help reduce incidences of disease among the 1.2 billion people worldwide who practice open defecation.
Jim McHale, Ph.D (far left, front), and Daigo Ishiyama (second from right, front), both executives with American Standard Brands, pose outside their hotel in Bangladesh with members of the International Development Enterprises (iDE) and local translators. Their visit was a fact-finding mission with the goal of improving safety and sanitation in developing world countries.