Ban on RO systems in parts of Delhi: Potential health risks of RO water and what you should do 

December 13, 2019 12:15 PM

Drinking water should contain minimum levels of certain essential minerals (and other components such as carbonates).

RO water, ro system, reverse osmosis, ro water health risk, demineralized water, TDS (Total Dissolved Salts), ro system water, ro system ban delhiSufficient evidence is now available to confirm the health consequences from drinking water deficient in calcium or magnesium.

By Dr Mohanbabu. P

RO Water or Reverse osmosis water is a fancy scientific term used by many these days. RO water will be produced through reverse osmosis (RO) process associated with purifying water. But most people don’t know what an RO system is.

Reverse Osmosis or RO is a method of removing contaminants from the source water by applying pressure. The machine lets the water flow through a series of artificial, semi-permeable membranes to further remove impurities. Part of the definition of reverse osmosis water is it is “purified water.” It means all the sediment, heavy metals, hard minerals, nutrients, viruses, and bacteria (both the good and bad) are no longer present. Drinking water should contain minimum levels of certain essential minerals.

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Sufficient evidence is now available to confirm the health consequences from drinking water deficient in calcium or magnesium. According to Frantisek Kozisek, National Institute of Public Health, Czech Republic, zero electrolytes and no antioxidants water is equal less hydrating water. Of course, alkaline water is rich in antioxidants and electrolytes. This helps hydrate the body and neutralize harmful free radicals. Potential consequences of drinking demineralized water on vital body functions.

Drinking water with a low mineral content i.e. water with low TDS (Total Dissolved Salts) has a negative effect on our body’s homeostasis. Consuming RO demineralized water causes debilitating symptoms such as headache, tiredness, and weakness, muscular cramps, and impaired heart rate along with a negative impact on hormone secretion, kidney functions, and bone mineral density.

Consuming water that is low in calcium and magnesium is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, fractures in children, preterm birth or low birth weight, certain neurodegenerative diseases, etc., when compared to natural water consumption
.
Waste of water

A 2013 study by researchers at North Dakota State University revealed: “An RO unit delivering 2 gallons of treated water per day may discharge 8 to 15 gallons of waste water per day to the septic system”. – Tom Scherer, Ph.D., and Roxanne Johnson

What we should do

Drinking water should contain minimum levels of certain essential minerals (and other components such as carbonates).

How to re-mineralize RO water:

– Add a mineral-rich salt (Example – Himalayan sea-salt)
– Mineral drops for water
– Alter the RO water pH level with a filter
– Use an alkaline pitcher.

(The author is an MBBS, MHSc (Diab) at Apollo Clinic, Sarjapur Road, Bengaluru. Views expressed are personal.)  

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