FTC Charges Associated Mills Had No Substantiation
for Water Cleaner Claims

Company Agrees to Substantiate Future Claims

FTC News Release
January 18, 1989

The Federal Trade Commission charged that Associated Mills, Inc., had no basis for claiming that its Pollenex Bottled Water Maker Reverse Osmosis System could remove certain hazardous organic chemicals from tap water for a year. Under a consent agreement issued today for public comment, the company agreed to have substantiation for future similar claims.

According to the Commission's complaint, Associated Mills made such ad claims as "Removes up to 99% of organic chemicals and other contaminants from tap water" and "The membrane cartridge supplied will last for 1 year or more." The ads also claimed that the Bottled Water Maker would remove nearly all or most of the trihalomethanes, a class of hazardous organic chemicals including chloroform, contained in normal tap water for a year. However, the complaint charged, Associated Mills had no basis for making that claim.

Under the consent agreement, Associated Mills agreed to have a reasonable basis for any claims of performance characteristics of the Bottled Water Maker or any other water treatment appliance or product. It must also have a reasonable basis for claims of the expected life over which any environmental treatment product can treat or remove any contaminant or reduce any health-related risks.

Associated Mills is based in Chicago. The FTC's San Francisco Regional Office handled the investigation.

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