Need for certification of household water treatment products: examples from Haiti. Trop Med Int Health. 2014 Dec 1. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12445.
Authors: Murray A1, Pierre-Louis J, Joseph F, Sylvain G, Patrick M, Lantagne D. Author information: 1Tufts University Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department.Medford, MA, USA.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate four chemical treatment products currently seeking approval in Haiti.
METHODS: Household water treatment (HWT) products were evaluated at the certification process validation stage by verifying international product certifications confirming treatment efficacy and reviewing laboratory efficacy data against WHO HWT microbiological performance targets; and at the approval stage by confirming product composition, evaluating treated water chemical content against national and international drinking water quality guidelines, and reviewing packaging for dosing ability and usage directions in Creole.
RESULTS: None of the four evaluated products fulfilled validation or approval stage requirements. None was certified by an international agency as efficacious for drinking water treatment, and none had data demonstrating its ability to meet WHO HWT performance targets. All product sample compositions differed from labeled composition by >20%, and no packaging included complete usage directions in Creole.
CONCLUSIONS: Product manufacturers provided information that was inapplicable, did not demonstrate product efficacy, and was insufficient to ensure safe product use. Capacity building is needed with country regulatory agencies to objectively evaluate HWT products. Products should be internationally assessed against WHO performance targets and also locally approved, considering language, culture, and usability, to ensure effective HWT.