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[pct-l] Re: Iodine

>I am seriously considering I2 (iodine) purification for a John Muir 
>Trail trip (24 days or so).  The only input I have found about the
>of lots of iodine is a lethal dose is between 2 and 15 grams plus (I am
>planning on about 120mg of IODIDE over 30 days).  Does anyone have any
>other info on the effects of lots of iodide?       Dave Gomberg		

     1) The"lethal dose" means what it says: a dose (all at once) that'll
be fatal; how much you take over a 30-day period doesn't constitute a
    2) However, the effects of iodine are somewhat cumulative, and no
doctor recommends anyone take iodine for more than a couple days, because
(among other things), iodine stimulates the thyroid gland - which is a
big deal, since it controls metabolism. Individuals vary widely in how
sensitive they are to this (how "poisoned" they'll be), and you'll hear
from lots of backpackers that say they've used iodine for months with no
adverse effects. Actually, what they are saying is that they didn't get
desperately ill; iodine taken over that period of time will definitely
have an effect on anybody. In people with thyroid disease, or borderline
(a _lot_ of people), the extra iodine will "push them over the line", so
to speak, and bring on serious illness, which is unpleasant and
life-threatening (I have Grave's disease). There is a great deal of
iodine in our food/water already in the coastal states (you couldn't
avoid it no matter how hard you tried), so we really don't  want any
excess; just because we actually need small amounts of a substance for
health doesn't mean consuming larger amounts is desirable or even safe..
(You can think of many examples of this, right?)
  Interestingly, other things that stimulate the thyroid (symptoms: rapid
heart rate, shakiness leading to exhaustion/weakness in large muscles,
"hot flashes", hunger with weight loss, etc) are altitude, exertion, and
cold - somebody with a sensitive thyroid who goes on a tough hike in
chilly weather above, say, 6-8,000', _and_  ingests extra iodine - well,
you can use your imagination. (I was diagnosed with Grave's after a
rigorous all-day/night peak climb in snow to rescue some hypothermic
hikers; turns out I nearly collapsed, & was lucky not to suffer a heart
attack as well.)
   BTW,  thyroid overactivity just sucks calcium out of your bones, so
any folks (especially fine-boned ladies) who are worried about
osteoporosis down the line  might reconsider using iodine to purify
water. I myself find iodine to be awfully _in_convenient. With a filter,
I can just stop at a water source and drink, instead of waiting (&
hoping) for the proper "dose" to do its job, especially on cold water,
which is pretty much all you find in the backcountry, or on (for example)
water in cattle-grazing allotments like Kern River country.  I'm not nuts
about having to find deep-enough-to-dip,  grit-free, slime/ bug-free,
"clear" water to treat, either (I'd rather just filter out the cow dung,
thank you), or the iodine taste (even with the "taste neutralizers) - the
extra weight is one of those annoyances I'm willing to exchange for the
certainty of safe drinking water and continuing health. "Certainty" is
the operative word here: nowadays, it's a gamble to drink water anyplace
(altho some people seem to feel they can beat the odds - I don't have
that much faith in my good luck), and stuff like chlorine (bleach)
doesn't cut it, as you know.           bj
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