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On the 14th annual World Toilet Day, American Standard announces an expansion of its Flush For Good initiative aimed at improving the quality of life for more than 20 million people with safer sanitation facilities by 2020.
American Standard is currently in field testing for three new models of its patented SaTo (short for "Safe Toilet") sanitary toilet products that help reduce the transmission of disease and odors from traditional open pit latrines.
More than 810,000 of the first SaTo pan models have been distributed and installed in Bangladesh, Uganda, Haiti, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria and the Philippines as result of the Company's 2013-2014 buy-one/give-one commitment to U.S. purchasers of its Champion toilet.
The distribution of the donated SaTos has been facilitated by American Standard partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) BRAC, WaterAid, Save the Children, Water for People, Plumbers Without Borders, UNICEF, and Food for the Poor.
The new SaTo models are designed to operate effectively in areas where water is limited, as in Sub-Saharan Africa. A trap door blocks the sights and smells of the pit below and can be conveniently opened to get rid of waste by manually pulling a cable. The user rinses the pan clean using a very small amount of water.
"The SaTo has proved to be a remarkably effective solution to the global sanitation crisis because it was designed to suit the customs and aspirations of the local population," said Jim McHale, Ph.D., vice president, global ceramics technology at American Standard and co-inventor of the first SaTo pan. "It is this careful attention to detail that will allow these simple-looking products to vastly improve millions of lives."
The most affordable of these three innovative SaTo products will be sold for less than $5 USD. Two more affordable, yet "aspirational," models ― a slab-style pan to be used while squatting and a stool-style unit designed for sitting ― will be available for a retail price of $10-15 USD. All three new SaTo styles have been in field testing in Rwanda since late 2014, with plans underway to expand to Uganda and Kenya in the coming months. Execution of the field tests by American Standard in these three countries in East Africa is being facilitated by UNICEF.
Earlier this year, American Standard was honored with a Patents for Humanity award from the U.S. Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for inventing the hygienic SaTo toilet technology. Launched in 2012, the Patents for Humanity program recognizes individual and organizational patent holders who have developed innovative and sustainable solutions that address global humanitarian challenges.
"Our experience getting more than 810,000 SaTo pans into developing countries included our commitment to work with local suppliers," said Maha El Kharbotly, chief marketing officer at LIXIL Water Technology Americas. "We reach magnitudes of people via a sustainable business proposition rather than through charity. In developing a product that people actually want to use, the health benefits of improved sanitation practices naturally follow."
The American Standard commitment to improving global sanitation conditions dates back to 2012, when the Company first partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a low-cost hygienic toilet pan that reduces disease transmission and odors in pit latrines that are common throughout Asia and Africa. After accompanying NGO partner iDE to Bangladesh for a deep dive market study, American Standard engineers invented the first SaTo hygienic toilet pan. The original design utilizes simple mechanical and water seals to close off pit latrines from the open air, preventing the spread of pathogens back out of the pit via flying insects.
To further expand the SaTo pan's reach, in 2013 American Standard launched its Flush for Good campaign that resulted in the Company pledging the donation of 1.2 million SaTo toilet pans to developing countries, impacting five million lives.
The goal of World Toilet Day is to raise awareness about this critical global health issue and support the many organizations working to create change. There are currently 2.5 billion people globally without access to safe sanitation facilities. The 2015 World Toilet Day campaign insists that #WeCantWait to stop the 2,000 deaths that occur every day from diseases caused by lack of access to proper sanitation facilities. World Toilet Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2013.
To learn more, visit www.americanstandard.com/sato.