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GWI CEO says Antinfek is safe disinfectant; Company examining its use along with other processes

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Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Dr. Richard Van West-Charles has brought clarity to the water company’s use of the organic chemical Antinfek for purifying purposes, assuring that the chemical is not harmful.

Speaking on Wednesday during a press conference, Dr. Van West- Charles dismissed claims that the disinfectant Antinfek is harmful, rather he noted that the main ingredient in that chemical, known as PHMB is not as dangerous as the popularly used chlorine.

He said chlorine does not kill all bacteria that could be found in untreated water such as protozoa. However, he made it clear that the GWI has never stopped chlorinating and is still chlorinating.

The GWI boss said Antinfek’s active ingredient is not as dangerous as Chlorine, which has to be carefully handled by trained staff in the correct protective gear, given the fact that if a cylinder has a leakage, exposure to Chlorine gas is dangerous.

The water company, Dr. Van West- Charles said is examining the use of not only Antinfek but other disinfectants and processes or a combination, in its effort to achieve the best mode of ensuring safe water supply to citizens.

Meantime, GWI’s executive Director of Operations, Dwayne Shako explained that Antinfek was used upon the completion of the Diamond well since Chlorine would have interacted with the material used to construct the infrastructure. Shako clarified that it was not being tested at that point since tests would have begun a year or so ago.

Media reports purporting that the chemical was used in Bartica were also dispelled by the GWI officials, who stressed that Antinfek is biologically safe.

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