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Pristine Final Test

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  • Reed, Steven D.
    Pristine Water Purification System - Final Test Report The tested Pristine (www.pristine.ca) kit (60 ml, 2oz. Travel Pack) consists of two small opaque bottles
    Message 1 of 2 , May 3, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Pristine Water Purification System - Final Test Report

      The tested Pristine (www.pristine.ca) kit (60 ml, 2oz. Travel Pack) consists
      of two small opaque bottles with a mixing cap and weighs about 3 oz. The
      instructions say that it will treat about 30 gallons of water. There are
      larger kits available, according to the information provided company's
      website. Purification is through a two-part solution, one is the chlorine
      dioxide, the other a phosphoric acid "activator." You mix the two together,
      wait 5 minutes and then add it to the water.
      After 15 minutes the water is ready to drink. If the water is very cold (no
      definition given), cloudy or Crypto is suspected then they recommend
      doubling the dosage and time.

      The information sheet (see http://www.pristine.ca/chlorine.html) makes the
      following effectiveness claims:

      Cl02 kills the following:
      * viruses
      * bacteria
      * giardia
      * cryptosporidium
      * botulism
      * e. coli
      * cholera
      Cl02 Eliminates the following:
      * many pollutants found in waste water
      * cyanides in wastewater
      * nitrites and sulfides
      * potential carcinogenic substances such as 3,4-benzopyrene
      * iron and manganese in water
      * tastes and odors produced by algae
      * the dyes produced by chlorophyll and plants
      * pesticides

      If it works as advertised, then Pristine would have quite an edge over
      microbiological filters and iodine based treatments. Since I'm not an
      expert it that area, for the purposes of the test I'm assuming it works as
      promised.

      Test Description

      I initially tested the product on my tap water in my kitchen. The first
      time I did this the chorine like fumes from mixing the two ingredients
      together were really kind of overpowering. It even gave me a little
      headache. In later tests in my basement (doesn't really have good
      ventilation) and using the bathroom exhaust fan I didn't notice this again.
      In any event I would recommend using it outside or in a room with good
      ventilation. In my initial tap water tests the Chlorine taste was pretty
      strong, like heavily treated "city water". Next, I tried bottled water to
      see if municipal treated water was causing a over supply of chlorine. The
      water from this test was much better. I also tried the test on some weak
      iced tea to simulate the tannic stained water that one often encounters up
      in Canada on canoeing/fishing trips. The Pristine removed almost all of the
      color and taste of the tea. Interestingly the chlorine flavor was the
      least noticeable in this sample. Since my fishing/camping trip in April to
      Missouri fell through I used water from the Des Moines River for the balance
      of the tests. The results of my field tests of several different water
      treatment systems that I have used are noted below. In all cases I filtered
      or treated a liter of water, timed the process and then did a taste test. I
      usually had several members of my family and friends try the water and also
      give their opinions on taste.

      Pristine

      Critter Killing Ability According to the companies information sheet,
      Chlorine Dioxide, the active ingredient in Pristine and Aquamira kills the
      following:

      * viruses
      * bacteria
      * giardia
      * cryptosporidium
      * botulism
      * e. coli
      * cholera

      I read in several posts that Aquamira's information is less enthusiastic in
      its claims, however, I could not substantiate this on their website.

      * Weight 3 oz. (treats 30 gal.)
      * Speed and Convenience The two bottles are compact and easy to
      carry. Setup is somewhat more complicated than using iodine (either Polar
      Pure or Potable Aqua), but no more so than a water filter. The big downside
      to chemical treatments over a filter is the waiting time. At 20 minutes
      Pristine seems to come in somewhere between the filters (no waiting) and
      iodine based treatments (seem to be leaning more towards 30 minutes now).
      However, recent PUR filter (iodine impregnated filters only) instructions
      suggest some waiting time now before drinking.
      * Taste Pristine was the overall taste test winner. It always came
      out the winner, even against plain tapwater in blind tests on my family and
      friends. The only water to tie with it was from the Safewater Anywhere
      Filter and I'm not sure this is a fair comparison, since it really isn't
      effective against all bacteria. As noted above the company also claims
      Pristine will enhance the taste of the water by oxidizing various organic
      contaminants. The "tea test" that I performed above provides some support
      for this.
      * Price: $13
      * Shelf Life 4 years
      * Website http://www.pristine.ca/

      Comparison with other treatment methods that I have used

      AquaMira

      * I have not used this but, as noted by other testers, this product is
      virtually identical to Pristine, the only exception possibly being the
      company's claims for effectiveness (see further discussion above under
      Pristine).
      * Website http://www.mcnett.com/

      Potable Aqua, Potable Aqua Plus

      * Critter Killing Ability Kills Giardia, bacteria, and viruses.
      According to the information I could locate it does not reliably kill
      Crypto. Also note that the company recommends 2 tablets per quart in cloudy
      water and to kill Giardia.
      * Weight 2 oz. (50 tablets, treats 25-50 qts.)
      * Speed and Convenience The tablets are very convenient, however
      there is a 30 minute waiting time.
      * Taste There is a strong iodine taste with the potable aqua
      tablets, especially when using two, as recommended for cold water and for
      killing Giardia. The plus product includes ascorbic acid tablets to help
      neutralize the iodine taste. Even with these tablets the taste of the water
      is far inferior to the Pristine treated water.
      * Price: $8
      * Shelf Life 6-12 months, once opened
      * Website http://www.wpcbrands.com/

      Polar Pure

      * Critter Killing Ability Same as for Potable Aqua.
      * Weight 3 oz. (Treats 1000-2000 Quarts)
      * Speed and Convenience Again it is very convenient, just add the
      number of capfuls of concentrated iodine solution according the temperate
      gauge on the side of the bottle and wait 20-30 minutes.
      * Taste Typical Iodine taste, although it is somewhat less
      noticeable than PA. A pinch of ascorbic acid will remove most of the taste,
      however the result is still inferior in taste to the Pristine treated water.

      * Price: $10
      * Shelf Life Iodine crystals last indefinitely, the bottle
      contains concentrated iodine crystals that are not affected by age, air, or
      temperature. Water is safe to drink 20-30 minutes after treatment.
      * Website Polar Equipment, Inc., Saratoga, CA (no website found)

      PUR Scout

      * Critter Killing Ability This is kind of in limbo at the present
      time. Originally the Scout pump was marketed as a purifier and effective
      against Giardia, Cryptosporidiosis, bacteria and viruses. However, the
      company has recently suspended sales because tests showed that this may not
      be the case. Current Company information indicates the filter is still
      effect against cysts and bacteria. However, the pore size is .3 microns, so
      you may need to pre-treat with iodine or Pristine.
      * Weight 14 oz. (Each cartridge treats up to 100 gallons)
      * Speed and Convenience It takes about 4-5 minutes to unpack the
      filter, pump a liter of water and pack the filter back up. If you need to
      pre-treat with iodine you would also have the additional waiting period
      noted under Polar Pure. However, if you're not concerned about protection
      from viruses you can drink the water right away.
      * Taste Using the original iodine impregnated filter cartridge
      (which is no longer available) and without the carbon filled stop top (per
      PUR current instructions) there is a very slight Iodine taste to the water.
      It is much less noticeable than PA and somewhat less noticeable than Polar
      Pure. I judge that the Pristine treated water tastes better. Again, a
      pinch of ascorbic acid will remove most of the taste (you must wait for the
      iodine to do its work, about 20 minutes, before adding this). The new
      cartridge that PUR is selling is identical to the old one without the
      iodine. Therefore, in order to be effective against viruses you would need
      to pre-treat with iodine or Pristine. I haven't received my new cartridge
      to include in this test.
      * Price: $90, a replacement cartridge is $45.
      * Shelf Life Not applicable
      * Website http://www.purwater.com/

      Safewater Anywhere In-line Filter

      * Critter Killing Ability Information taken directly from the SFA
      website: [SafeWater Anywhere filters remove microorganisms such as
      bacteria, K. terrigena and E. coli to the 6th log (99.9999%) and Protozoa
      such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium to the 3rd log (99.9%)... filter media
      adsorbs EPA listed VOCs and contaminates such as petroleum by-products,
      pesticides and herbicides... SafeWater Anywhere does not remove viruses. If
      viruses are a concern simply add a commercially available disinfectant such
      as iodine tablets.]
      * Weight 3 oz. (Each cartridge treats up to 60 gallons)
      * Speed and Convenience The SFA filter can be fitted in-line on the
      drinking tube of any size platypus (or similar) bladder. You then fill your
      bladder with unfiltered water and it is filtered as you drink through the
      tube. It and its sister products rank very high in convenience. You can
      also use it as a gravity flow system in camp with two platy type containers.
      It takes about 4-5 minutes to unpack, setup and gravity filter a liter of
      water.
      * Taste I find that the taste is usually improved after running
      through this filter. In fact, the activated carbon will eliminate iodine
      and/or chlorine tastes in pre-treated water. I would rank this equal or
      slightly above the Pristine treated water. However, this taste comes at a
      cost the SWA does not have the wide range killing/filtering capabilities of
      the Pristine.
      * Price: $34.95 for the in-line filter housing and cartridge
      * Shelf Life Not applicable
      * Website http://www.safewateranywhere.com/home.html

      Summary

      For me selecting a water treatment system comes down to four basic
      considerations (in my order of importance):

      1-Critter Killing - Must kill the big three giardia, crypto and bacteria.
      Viruses are a plus, but probably not necessary in the states.
      2-Weight
      3-Convenience
      4-Taste

      If I had to make a choice right now I think I'd go with the Pristine,
      especially on backpacking trips. It is a big winner in taste and
      lightweight over the other systems. The only drawback is the waiting time.
      Because of the waiting time the SWA in-line is a close second, but has the
      major drawback of not effective against as many pathogens. I guess it would
      depend on where I was going to be using it. If I was drinking water from
      rivers in Iowa (where one has to deal with agricultural pollution from
      herbicides and insecticides), I would want to treat with Pristine and filter
      with either my Scout or SWA in-line filter. This only results in a 3 oz.
      weight penalty, however you have more convenience options. For canoe trips,
      where I'm usually going with a larger group I have always used the Scout
      filter in the past. Now I'm not really sure given the recent "suspension of
      sales". The Pristine would certainly be handy for treating our camp water
      supply that we keep in a 6 liter platy. I will probably go with the
      Pristine.

      Suggested Enhancements:

      * Provide an extra mixing cap (put one on both bottles) because you
      most likely would want to treat more then 1 liter at a time and would
      provide a backup in case one was lost.
      * Make one side of the bottle clear so the amount of chemicals
      remaining is easily determined.
      * Improve instructions so that reaction and treatment times in cold
      temperatures could be certain.
      * The brochure and Ad copy indicate that "It is a quick and easy two
      step process to turn suspect water into purified drinking water in just 15
      minutes". However, the instructions indicate that you mix 7 drops of each
      part in the mixing lid and let it stand for 5 minutes before adding it to
      the water and letting it stand for another 15 minutes. This adds up to 20
      minutes for the 2 step process. The ad copy should be changed to match
      reality.

      * The instructions on the bottles stating that you should disinfect
      the water bottle and lid before use, doesn't make a lot of sense for a
      product designed to be used out in the backcountry. It should be eliminated
      or changed to something like "rinsing with treated water prior to use." I
      like the PA instructions, which tell you to leave the lid loose and shake so
      that the iodine treated water self rinses the threads on the water bottle.

      One other thing I would like to get a handle on is the recommended waiting
      times. I'm sure the company has built in plenty of cushion in the 5 minute
      reaction time and the 15 minute purification waiting time. I would like to
      know what the bare minimums are or at least what I could get away with by
      pushing the envelope a little. For the reaction time especially, once the
      mixture turns yellow, is the reaction complete and could I safely add it at
      that point. I think a couple of others mentioned this point, since many of
      us like to leave our watches at home.

      Thanks to Jerry for the opportunity to test this product.

      -Steve
    • David Foote
      I really like this test report. Very thorough and the comparison to other alternatives was very beneficial for me. df
      Message 2 of 2 , May 3, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        I really like this test report. Very thorough and the comparison to
        other alternatives was very beneficial for me.

        df


        ----------------

        Reed, Steven D. wrote:
        >
        > Pristine Water Purification System - Final Test Report
        >
        > The tested Pristine (www.pristine.ca) kit (60 ml, 2oz. Travel Pack) consists
        > of two small opaque bottles with a mixing cap and weighs about 3 oz. The
        > instructions say that it will treat about 30 gallons of water. There are
        > larger kits available, according to the information provided company's
        > website. Purification is through a two-part solution, one is the chlorine
        > dioxide, the other a phosphoric acid "activator." You mix the two together,
        > wait 5 minutes and then add it to the water.
        > After 15 minutes the water is ready to drink. If the water is very cold (no
        > definition given), cloudy or Crypto is suspected then they recommend
        > doubling the dosage and time.
        >
        > The information sheet (see http://www.pristine.ca/chlorine.html) makes the
        > following effectiveness claims:
        >
        > Cl02 kills the following:
        > * viruses
        > * bacteria
        > * giardia
        > * cryptosporidium
        > * botulism
        > * e. coli
        > * cholera
        > Cl02 Eliminates the following:
        > * many pollutants found in waste water
        > * cyanides in wastewater
        > * nitrites and sulfides
        > * potential carcinogenic substances such as 3,4-benzopyrene
        > * iron and manganese in water
        > * tastes and odors produced by algae
        > * the dyes produced by chlorophyll and plants
        > * pesticides
        >
        > If it works as advertised, then Pristine would have quite an edge over
        > microbiological filters and iodine based treatments. Since I'm not an
        > expert it that area, for the purposes of the test I'm assuming it works as
        > promised.
        >
        > Test Description
        >
        > I initially tested the product on my tap water in my kitchen. The first
        > time I did this the chorine like fumes from mixing the two ingredients
        > together were really kind of overpowering. It even gave me a little
        > headache. In later tests in my basement (doesn't really have good
        > ventilation) and using the bathroom exhaust fan I didn't notice this again.
        > In any event I would recommend using it outside or in a room with good
        > ventilation. In my initial tap water tests the Chlorine taste was pretty
        > strong, like heavily treated "city water". Next, I tried bottled water to
        > see if municipal treated water was causing a over supply of chlorine. The
        > water from this test was much better. I also tried the test on some weak
        > iced tea to simulate the tannic stained water that one often encounters up
        > in Canada on canoeing/fishing trips. The Pristine removed almost all of the
        > color and taste of the tea. Interestingly the chlorine flavor was the
        > least noticeable in this sample. Since my fishing/camping trip in April to
        > Missouri fell through I used water from the Des Moines River for the balance
        > of the tests. The results of my field tests of several different water
        > treatment systems that I have used are noted below. In all cases I filtered
        > or treated a liter of water, timed the process and then did a taste test. I
        > usually had several members of my family and friends try the water and also
        > give their opinions on taste.
        >
        > Pristine
        >
        > Critter Killing Ability According to the companies information sheet,
        > Chlorine Dioxide, the active ingredient in Pristine and Aquamira kills the
        > following:
        >
        > * viruses
        > * bacteria
        > * giardia
        > * cryptosporidium
        > * botulism
        > * e. coli
        > * cholera
        >
        > I read in several posts that Aquamira's information is less enthusiastic in
        > its claims, however, I could not substantiate this on their website.
        >
        > * Weight 3 oz. (treats 30 gal.)
        > * Speed and Convenience The two bottles are compact and easy to
        > carry. Setup is somewhat more complicated than using iodine (either Polar
        > Pure or Potable Aqua), but no more so than a water filter. The big downside
        > to chemical treatments over a filter is the waiting time. At 20 minutes
        > Pristine seems to come in somewhere between the filters (no waiting) and
        > iodine based treatments (seem to be leaning more towards 30 minutes now).
        > However, recent PUR filter (iodine impregnated filters only) instructions
        > suggest some waiting time now before drinking.
        > * Taste Pristine was the overall taste test winner. It always came
        > out the winner, even against plain tapwater in blind tests on my family and
        > friends. The only water to tie with it was from the Safewater Anywhere
        > Filter and I'm not sure this is a fair comparison, since it really isn't
        > effective against all bacteria. As noted above the company also claims
        > Pristine will enhance the taste of the water by oxidizing various organic
        > contaminants. The "tea test" that I performed above provides some support
        > for this.
        > * Price: $13
        > * Shelf Life 4 years
        > * Website http://www.pristine.ca/
        >
        > Comparison with other treatment methods that I have used
        >
        > AquaMira
        >
        > * I have not used this but, as noted by other testers, this product is
        > virtually identical to Pristine, the only exception possibly being the
        > company's claims for effectiveness (see further discussion above under
        > Pristine).
        > * Website http://www.mcnett.com/
        >
        > Potable Aqua, Potable Aqua Plus
        >
        > * Critter Killing Ability Kills Giardia, bacteria, and viruses.
        > According to the information I could locate it does not reliably kill
        > Crypto. Also note that the company recommends 2 tablets per quart in cloudy
        > water and to kill Giardia.
        > * Weight 2 oz. (50 tablets, treats 25-50 qts.)
        > * Speed and Convenience The tablets are very convenient, however
        > there is a 30 minute waiting time.
        > * Taste There is a strong iodine taste with the potable aqua
        > tablets, especially when using two, as recommended for cold water and for
        > killing Giardia. The plus product includes ascorbic acid tablets to help
        > neutralize the iodine taste. Even with these tablets the taste of the water
        > is far inferior to the Pristine treated water.
        > * Price: $8
        > * Shelf Life 6-12 months, once opened
        > * Website http://www.wpcbrands.com/
        >
        > Polar Pure
        >
        > * Critter Killing Ability Same as for Potable Aqua.
        > * Weight 3 oz. (Treats 1000-2000 Quarts)
        > * Speed and Convenience Again it is very convenient, just add the
        > number of capfuls of concentrated iodine solution according the temperate
        > gauge on the side of the bottle and wait 20-30 minutes.
        > * Taste Typical Iodine taste, although it is somewhat less
        > noticeable than PA. A pinch of ascorbic acid will remove most of the taste,
        > however the result is still inferior in taste to the Pristine treated water.
        >
        > * Price: $10
        > * Shelf Life Iodine crystals last indefinitely, the bottle
        > contains concentrated iodine crystals that are not affected by age, air, or
        > temperature. Water is safe to drink 20-30 minutes after treatment.
        > * Website Polar Equipment, Inc., Saratoga, CA (no website found)
        >
        > PUR Scout
        >
        > * Critter Killing Ability This is kind of in limbo at the present
        > time. Originally the Scout pump was marketed as a purifier and effective
        > against Giardia, Cryptosporidiosis, bacteria and viruses. However, the
        > company has recently suspended sales because tests showed that this may not
        > be the case. Current Company information indicates the filter is still
        > effect against cysts and bacteria. However, the pore size is .3 microns, so
        > you may need to pre-treat with iodine or Pristine.
        > * Weight 14 oz. (Each cartridge treats up to 100 gallons)
        > * Speed and Convenience It takes about 4-5 minutes to unpack the
        > filter, pump a liter of water and pack the filter back up. If you need to
        > pre-treat with iodine you would also have the additional waiting period
        > noted under Polar Pure. However, if you're not concerned about protection
        > from viruses you can drink the water right away.
        > * Taste Using the original iodine impregnated filter cartridge
        > (which is no longer available) and without the carbon filled stop top (per
        > PUR current instructions) there is a very slight Iodine taste to the water.
        > It is much less noticeable than PA and somewhat less noticeable than Polar
        > Pure. I judge that the Pristine treated water tastes better. Again, a
        > pinch of ascorbic acid will remove most of the taste (you must wait for the
        > iodine to do its work, about 20 minutes, before adding this). The new
        > cartridge that PUR is selling is identical to the old one without the
        > iodine. Therefore, in order to be effective against viruses you would need
        > to pre-treat with iodine or Pristine. I haven't received my new cartridge
        > to include in this test.
        > * Price: $90, a replacement cartridge is $45.
        > * Shelf Life Not applicable
        > * Website http://www.purwater.com/
        >
        > Safewater Anywhere In-line Filter
        >
        > * Critter Killing Ability Information taken directly from the SFA
        > website: [SafeWater Anywhere filters remove microorganisms such as
        > bacteria, K. terrigena and E. coli to the 6th log (99.9999%) and Protozoa
        > such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium to the 3rd log (99.9%)... filter media
        > adsorbs EPA listed VOCs and contaminates such as petroleum by-products,
        > pesticides and herbicides... SafeWater Anywhere does not remove viruses. If
        > viruses are a concern simply add a commercially available disinfectant such
        > as iodine tablets.]
        > * Weight 3 oz. (Each cartridge treats up to 60 gallons)
        > * Speed and Convenience The SFA filter can be fitted in-line on the
        > drinking tube of any size platypus (or similar) bladder. You then fill your
        > bladder with unfiltered water and it is filtered as you drink through the
        > tube. It and its sister products rank very high in convenience. You can
        > also use it as a gravity flow system in camp with two platy type containers.
        > It takes about 4-5 minutes to unpack, setup and gravity filter a liter of
        > water.
        > * Taste I find that the taste is usually improved after running
        > through this filter. In fact, the activated carbon will eliminate iodine
        > and/or chlorine tastes in pre-treated water. I would rank this equal or
        > slightly above the Pristine treated water. However, this taste comes at a
        > cost the SWA does not have the wide range killing/filtering capabilities of
        > the Pristine.
        > * Price: $34.95 for the in-line filter housing and cartridge
        > * Shelf Life Not applicable
        > * Website http://www.safewateranywhere.com/home.html
        >
        > Summary
        >
        > For me selecting a water treatment system comes down to four basic
        > considerations (in my order of importance):
        >
        > 1-Critter Killing - Must kill the big three giardia, crypto and bacteria.
        > Viruses are a plus, but probably not necessary in the states.
        > 2-Weight
        > 3-Convenience
        > 4-Taste
        >
        > If I had to make a choice right now I think I'd go with the Pristine,
        > especially on backpacking trips. It is a big winner in taste and
        > lightweight over the other systems. The only drawback is the waiting time.
        > Because of the waiting time the SWA in-line is a close second, but has the
        > major drawback of not effective against as many pathogens. I guess it would
        > depend on where I was going to be using it. If I was drinking water from
        > rivers in Iowa (where one has to deal with agricultural pollution from
        > herbicides and insecticides), I would want to treat with Pristine and filter
        > with either my Scout or SWA in-line filter. This only results in a 3 oz.
        > weight penalty, however you have more convenience options. For canoe trips,
        > where I'm usually going with a larger group I have always used the Scout
        > filter in the past. Now I'm not really sure given the recent "suspension of
        > sales". The Pristine would certainly be handy for treating our camp water
        > supply that we keep in a 6 liter platy. I will probably go with the
        > Pristine.
        >
        > Suggested Enhancements:
        >
        > * Provide an extra mixing cap (put one on both bottles) because you
        > most likely would want to treat more then 1 liter at a time and would
        > provide a backup in case one was lost.
        > * Make one side of the bottle clear so the amount of chemicals
        > remaining is easily determined.
        > * Improve instructions so that reaction and treatment times in cold
        > temperatures could be certain.
        > * The brochure and Ad copy indicate that "It is a quick and easy two
        > step process to turn suspect water into purified drinking water in just 15
        > minutes". However, the instructions indicate that you mix 7 drops of each
        > part in the mixing lid and let it stand for 5 minutes before adding it to
        > the water and letting it stand for another 15 minutes. This adds up to 20
        > minutes for the 2 step process. The ad copy should be changed to match
        > reality.
        >
        > * The instructions on the bottles stating that you should disinfect
        > the water bottle and lid before use, doesn't make a lot of sense for a
        > product designed to be used out in the backcountry. It should be eliminated
        > or changed to something like "rinsing with treated water prior to use." I
        > like the PA instructions, which tell you to leave the lid loose and shake so
        > that the iodine treated water self rinses the threads on the water bottle.
        >
        > One other thing I would like to get a handle on is the recommended waiting
        > times. I'm sure the company has built in plenty of cushion in the 5 minute
        > reaction time and the 15 minute purification waiting time. I would like to
        > know what the bare minimums are or at least what I could get away with by
        > pushing the envelope a little. For the reaction time especially, once the
        > mixture turns yellow, is the reaction complete and could I safely add it at
        > that point. I think a couple of others mentioned this point, since many of
        > us like to leave our watches at home.
        >
        > Thanks to Jerry for the opportunity to test this product.
        >
        > -Steve
        >
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        >
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