RUBBERMAID TARGETS FILTRATION MARKET

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Rubbermaid Inc.'s Home Products Division formally entered the water filtration market at the housewares show.

``This is a natural fit for Rubbermaid, which has a longstanding association with consumers in food preparation and storage,'' said Scott Jennie, business team manager.

Products the Wooster, Ohio, company unveiled at the show include a 3.4-quart pitcher to retail at about $19.99 , a 2-gallon dispenser for $27.99 and replacement filters, priced at about $20.99 for a three-pack. Shipping is scheduled to begin in March.

The blue lid is injection molded from ABS. The base is an acrylic-styrene resin, said Piyush Vakil, manager of product development and engineering. Rubbermaid claims the filters reduce lead and chlorine by 98 percent.

Other new products from Rubbermaid include small storage sheds with 92 cubic feet of space, a new, 14-gallon storage box with hinged lid and a 16-gallon Totelocker.

In cleaning products, Rubbermaid introduced a sponge mop and a dustpan with a long handle, to eliminate stooping.