Is using Reverse Osmosis healthy or is there more than what meets the eye? It’s true that since its establishment in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the technology has grown in popular in many homes. Besides, what bottle companies use is water gotten through the same process.
The method involves pushing water through a semi-permeable membrane. What happens later is that large-sized molecules and contaminants are removed. In case the particles are too small, they end up remaining in the water. The process comes with different health benefits and similarly, a handful of disadvantages. Let us carefully look at them.
- 1 Health Benefits and Challenges of Using Reverse Osmosis
- 2 The Health Benefits of Using a Reverse Osmosis System
- 3 The Challenges of Using Reverse Osmosis
- 4 Conclusion
Health Benefits and Challenges of Using Reverse Osmosis
- It is free of lead
- It is safe for cancer patients
- It removes cryptosporidium
- Filters off sodium
- A lot of important minerals are lost
- The water in most cases is acidic
- It fails to remove crucial contaminants
The Health Benefits of Using a Reverse Osmosis System
The Reverse Osmosis system is in use all over the world. It’s meant to provide safe and clean water for drinking, cooking, and even gardening. Now, let us look at some of the health benefits which come with using the procedure.
1. It Is Free Of Lead
According to research done by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, using Reverse Osmosis filtration system removes lead, making water safe for human use. There quite a number of challenges that arise from excess levels of lead in the body. These are increased blood pressure, challenges in fertility, and in the development of nerves, and muscle and tissue damage. The lead might even cause brain damage and severe cases of anemia in children!
2. It Is Safe For Cancer Patients
Patients suffering from cancer are allowed to take Reverse Osmosis Water before, during, and after treatment. This is according to reports by Medline Plus. Why so? Well, during chemotherapy and radiation, the body’s immune system is greatly weakened. Therefore, drinking or cooking using untreated water may lead to infection. Remember here that this water contains harmful bacteria and other micro-organisms and should hence be avoided.
3. It Removes Cryptosporidium
Contaminated water normally has a parasite called cryptosporidium! However, this organism is eliminated by the Reverse Osmosis filtration system. As you may well know, bacterial germs and other parasites are quite harmful to your health and that of children. In this case, the parasite here affects and damages the small intestines, causes stomach aches or cramps, diarrhea and fever. Ingesting the parasite is more harmful to children as it causes malnutrition and dehydration!
4. Filters off Sodium
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, using Reverse Osmosis also removes the sodium particles from water. This is because of what we have previously mentioned. Simply, the large sodium particles cannot penetrate through the semi-permeable membranes of the RO system. People suffering from high blood pressure, liver and kidney disease or any other sodium restrictions, stand to benefit most from using Reverse Osmosis water.
The Challenges of Using Reverse Osmosis
It is interesting just knowing that Reverse Osmosis was developed over forty years ago as a method of treating water. The process was purely used to desalinate water. Here now are some of the challenges of using the Reverse Osmosis water.
1. A Lot Of Important Minerals Are Lost
Minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, and iron are larger than other molecules present in water. Therefore, they cannot pass through the semi-permeable membrane of the Reverse Osmosis system and they are eliminated. The challenge comes when you want to use your RO water in planting vegetables in your garden. It may seem as if you are doing the right thing but you end up denying plants vital minerals.
For example, Calcium is needed for the growth of strong vegetable stems. Besides, on the side of drinking water, iron is a crucial nutrient that prevents anemia. Eliminating these components in water means that you and your vegetables may be consuming pure but unhealthy water.
A report by the World Health Organization shows some interesting facts caused by drinking mineral-deprived water. Gastrointestinal failures, issues dealing with bone density, cardiovascular disease, and joint problems are some of the risks involved.
The water is tasteless! Also, removing the naturally occurring plant minerals means that the water loses its fine taste. Eventually, you will find people adding liquid minerals in their Reverse Osmosis water to create a better taste.
2. The Water In Most Cases Is Acidic
Should we really be consuming Reverse Osmosis water? One of the main reasons why RO water is unhealthy is because by removing all the minerals, the water becomes more acidic. The pH level often reads bellow 7.0, something that does not help in creating a healthy balance of the pH in the blood.
We have tested many samples of RO water, and in all those, we have found that the pH level tends to settle around 5.0 to 7.0. But this could change depending on the water source and the specific RO technology used. You may find pH levels of even 3.0 which are very acidic!
3. It Fails In Removing Crucial Contaminants
Not all RO systems are able to remove elements such as chloramines and chlorine. Those that are able to do this have a multi-stage filtration system in addition to the Reverse Osmosis Membrane. For example, let us make use of activated carbon which eliminates certain pesticides and chlorine.
Looking at the above benefits and risks of using a Reverse Osmosis system, here is what we could say. The process is not perfect! And some of its challenges may lead you to abandon the system. However, there are interventions that are being used to counter the challenges such as multi-stage filtration systems and the addition of minerals to the purified water.
Do you have any concerns about using RO water? Are your concerns with drinking the water or with using it for your garden?