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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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Old 24 Mar 2011
JohnAbelFrank
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Iodine water purification

I have a friend who has recently travelled in and around india for a year and gave up on "time consuming" water filtration.
He relied on a couple of drops of Iodine in the water which he said, gave him no major hassles.

Madness??? or not?__________________________

Last edited by JohnAbelFrank; 27 Mar 2011 at 04:16.
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Old 24 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAbelFrank View Post
I have a friend who has recently travelled in and around india for a year and gave up on "time consuming" water filtration.
He relied on a couple of drops of Iodine in the water which he said, gave him no major hassles.

Madness??? or not?
Iodine only provides part sterilisation of water, it can't get rid of 100% or all parasites and spores, as for impurities only an actual filter can remove these.

It all depends on your needs and what water you are drinking.

There is a ready supply of bottled water all throughout India (and all of SEAsia) and we have travelled extensively only using bottled water and never had the need for our silver nitrate drops, chlorine drops or carbon filter. If in doubt boiling the water for 10mins will usually do the trick. But usually if you have bottled water no treatement is necessary.

However if you (or your friend) is drinking tap water or river water or water from pools on the side of the road with floating green sludge (I have a o/landing friend that was so thirsty he drank from a puddle no filtration or anything!!) then you may want to consider treatment more seriously.

I like silver nitrate as it is odourless, colourless and is effective within about 1-2 hours. It can also be used to preserve water ie. when kept bottled for days or weeks in humid conditions to prevent water from going stale or bad.

Put it another way, you are more likely to get ill ie. with Dehlly Belly from drinks with ice, mixed drinks, improperly cooked food, fruits that have been washed with dirty water or other baccteria that you come in contact with.

If you can't cook it or peel it, forget it.
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Old 24 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAbelFrank View Post
I have a friend who has recently travelled in and around india for a year and gave up on "time consuming" water filtration.
He relied on a couple of drops of Iodine in the water which he said, gave him no major hassles.

Madness??? or not?
I've used PolarPure iodine crystals for many years. It is a good solution for some circumstances but does have two major drawbacks: There are a few pathogens it will not kill. There are potential adverse health effects when used over an extended period (I was told every day for a month is fine, every day for a year could be risky). Taste: yes it is bad, but you will get used to it very fast.

I will carry a bottle of iodine crystals on my upcoming trip as an emergency purifier, but I wouldn't use it as my main source of potable water. I would rely first on bottled water when available, a filter other times.

As a side note, last I heard silver nitrate may cause problems if the silver builds up in your system. No clue the details though.
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Old 24 Mar 2011
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I don't know about the US, but you can't buy iodene tablets for water anymore. Some E.U. Safety law about long term effects etc

Anyway, the best I know of now are Chlorine Dioxcide tablets.. I used them all through Africa and never had bad guts or worms etc.

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Old 30 Mar 2011
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Hi

Filter, then heat or treat is a good plan.

No chemical will get totally inside a dirt particle, or spore, so if you plan to use chemicals of any sort then filter the bits out first!

3 months was the maximum for iodene I was told? Using it in crystal form is better for a reason I can't remember (doses more efficiently? Doesn't evaporate? One bottle lasts for ages????), but couldn't find any to buy in the UK. I have bought iodene tincture in a dropper bottle though. My Pre-Mac filter uses iodene in resin form, but has a carbon filter to take that as well as other things out before you drink it, so can be used permanently.

Katadyn Micro Forte is good stuff, although expensive long term in 1 tablet per litre form. I have it in powder form in a tub which lasts several years and does 50000litres! Over this time frame it becomes so cheap it goes in everything, but depends on how long you're going for and how you're travelling! The powder is so concentrated you can't realistically measure it accurately enough to dose just one jerrycan, let alone a water bottle. I mix it in a 1l nalgene, which is then sufficient for 1000l, so for 50l I add 50ml. The treatment is good for 6 months.



Edited to add Micro Forte contains silver as Turbocharger was suggesting, and if you search you'll find until recently the amount in USA tapwater was controlled and limited, but no more. It can turn you entirely and permanently blue if overexposed for a long period, google Paul Karason. He way overdid a home remedy for years though!
Iodene can make your body do bad things if it has too much as well as too little as a little googling will show, so don't overdo things!

Last edited by grizzly7; 31 Mar 2011 at 12:53.
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Old 31 Mar 2011
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After doing a good deal of homework, I've just bought a SteriPEN device to replace a typical selection of nasty tasting tablets...

Water Purifier Portable Water Purification System - SteriPEN

I haven't used it yet, but it's going to be a permanent companion on my travels - even where there's bottled water available.
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Old 1 Apr 2011
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As it says on their website "SteriPEN is intended for use in clear water", so if the water you are trying to treat is cloudy or has bits in, as with chemicals (iodine, chlorine and silver) you will still need to filter it first.
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