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RE: [at-l] Water Purification--Scientific Report

On 28-Jan-97 MarvWelte@aol.com wrote:
>I was looking for a Potable Aqua web site, wanted to find out if long term
>use of Potable Aqua was harmful in any way.  I happened upon a scientific
>report about boiling, water filters, iodine tablets.  It's worth
>reading/scanning, even though it is lengthy and involved.  Comparisons of
>filters in the report, and all is not rosy.

I just typed in some stuff about filters on the atml email list.  Just in
case you're not subscribed there too, here's what was discussed:

There's two excellent articles in Backpacker, December 1996.  The first
article is on p.56, "An issue of purity - What's in the water" and talks
about protozoan, bacteria, and viruses.  The second article is on p. 62,
"The water filter field test."  On p. 114 they say:

"Five of the filters in this test meet EPA requirements for removing 99.9%
of the proto. and 99.9999% of bacteria:  PUR Hiker, Katadyn Pocket Filter,
MSR MiniWorks, General Ecology First Need, and SweetWater Guardian."

Then they give a pro/con of all seven filters tested.  Some of the above
are 'filters' and others are 'purifiers', the purifiers having some form
of chemical disinfectant to kill viruses.  Also on p. 66, they say:

"The one serious drawback to iodine is that it does not kill
cryptosporidium. ... The only way to get it out of your water is by
either boiling or filtering."

Personally, we have a PUR Hiker because it's cheap, easy to use, works
well, and the filters are fairly cheap to replace and easy to find.
But I also carry Polar Pure in our 1st aid kit as a backup.  I don't mind
the taste but I prefer filtered water.  If I'm worried about viruses,
then I'll add Polar Pure to filtered water.  Backpacker sums it up pretty
well on p. 115:

"But what's more important, a few decimal points on a lab chart or
a pump that fits comfortably in your hand?  Filters that excel in
antiseptic labs don't necessarily work right when you're kneeling down
by a tea-colored puddle of day old rain.  In the end it comes down to
your personal preference, and only you decide what's important."

In one of the articles, they say that short-term (3 months or so) daily
use of iodine is not a problem _if_ you are not already sensitive/allergic to
it.  (Like shell fish and such.)

Best regards,
David DeCroix                                        finger for PGP public key
decroix@brunt.meas.ncsu.edu           Linux - The choice of the GNU generation
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