Picture this, your town was recently hit hard by a hurricane, damaging property and all clean water sources. Or maybe you live in an arid area, and the only source of clean water is the nearby oasis; of course, you have doubts about the water’s safety. In situations like these, it is ill-advised to drink untreated water.
So you carry around purifying tablets just in case you want to quench your thirst. But for some reason, you wonder if they are safe. Do water purification tablets have side effects? What chemicals do they contain?
I would ask myself the same questions if I ever was in such a situation.
This article looks at some water purification tablets side effects to determine if the tablets are bad or good for your health. We look at some of their chemical compositions and the effect they have on our bodies.
Are Water Purification Tablets Good for You?
Untreated water contains harmful pathogenic microorganisms that can cause diseases ranging from cholera, Typhoid, E.coli, and other gastrointestinal infections. Trust me, you don’t want any of these infections in your body; that’s why it is important to drink treated water.
Most people use purification tablets to treat their water, but are they good for your health? Have you thought of any possible effect the tablets have on your well-being?
Several water purification tablets are available, and the active ingredient in most of them is usually chlorine, Iodine, or chlorine dioxide. We all know there are limits for which we can take something. Water purification tablets are no exception.
Naturally, chlorine and Iodine are quite irritating when used in excess. You are not supposed to swallow the tablets whole or use them for water purification if you are pregnant or have underlying medical complications such as thyroid conditions.
If you correctly use water purification tablets, you don’t need to worry about any side effects on your body. In required amounts, they will kill harmful pathogens keeping you from deadly infections such as cholera. After all, were they not designed for human consumption?
Are Water Purification Tablets Safe?
You use them for your drinking and household water, but you have these bugging questions about whether the tablets are actually safe. We all face such doubts in our lives, but how are you using tablets? Do you sometimes mistake them for candy or your medication pills? If so, you need to be worried.
Okay, what is the chemical composition of your purification tablets? I ask this because these chemicals have different side effects. For Iodine-based purifiers, pregnant women would feel nausea and headaches, and worse still, they can have a miscarriage.
Iodine may trigger the body to produce too much or too little hormones for people with thyroid conditions. Some people are allergic to Iodine and exhibit allergic reaction symptoms, which are tragic in extreme conditions.
Chlorine water purifiers come in different forms. We have tablets, liquids, and even powder. However, the chemical composition is the same. They all work towards keeping our bodies safe from pathogens. But taking chlorine in excess can have detrimental side effects on our bodies.
If you have heard of chlorine poisoning, then you have a clue about what I am about to talk about. Our bodies naturally produce hydrochloric acid in the stomach. An extra intake of chlorine creates an even more concentration of this acid.
With such high concentrations, you are bound to experience the following symptoms;
- Stomach aches
- Bloody stool
- Burning sensation in the mouth
- Pain in the throat area
It is also possible for chlorine to create havoc on your circulatory system. For such a scenario, you will experience extremely low blood pressure, tissue injuries, and in worse cases, blood pH imbalance.
But when water purification tablets are used responsibly, such scenarios can’t happen. It is only in overdose cases, and on rare occasions, will you notice such happenings.
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Iodine Water Purification Tablets Side Effects
Do you know that the European Union banned the use of Iodine for water purification purposes? Unfortunately, that is true, but that shouldn’t be why you drink untreated water. Besides, there are several alternatives, such as chlorine-based purification tablets.
But why would they ban Iodine for water purification when they still use it in salt and other medicinal products?
You need to understand that Iodine is a chemical element necessary for the body to function correctly, but an excessive intake of Iodine is a severe medical emergency.
Although it is highly impossible to poison yourself with Iodine, it can be fatal if you have underlying conditions. Take, for example, you are pregnant and mistakenly induce your body with high levels of Iodine.
You will experience headaches and possibly give birth to a baby with a thyroid deficiency problem that can cause heart complications if not taken care of.
Those with thyroid conditions will be in an even worse state. If you seek immediate medical attention, your situation can be salvaged, but only if the problem wasn’t dire. However, it causes the thyroid glands to become excessively overactive, producing too many thyroid hormones in extreme conditions.
In some situations, the thyroid glands will produce extremely low hormones causing a condition commonly known as goiter, often characteristic of a swollen neck.
Also, Iodine’s consumption causes brassy teeth, and you are likely to produce too much saliva. Therefore, it is recommended that you keenly observe how you use water purification tablets and know their side effects.
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FAQs About Water Purification Tablets Side Effects
How long does it take for water purification tablets to work?
Usually, the tablets take about 30 minutes max or even a shorter time depending on the type of tablets you used. However, you will notice a rather unique taste in the water because of chlorine, chlorine dioxide, or Iodine.
Is water purification safe?
It is crucial to drink treated water. Most people drink tapped water while others take purified water, which is reasonably safe.
I can’t attest to what purification is the best method, but it is better to drink purified water than completely untreated water.
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What do purification tablets do?
When you drop water purification tablets in water, depending on whether they are Iodine or chlorine-based, the fast-acting chemical elements quickly kill pathogens to give you clean and safe drinking water.
We all need safe drinking and household water in our homes, and to achieve this, we sometimes treat the water with purification tablets. However, water purification tablets have side effects, especially when taken in excess.
Although we may experience such effects in high concentrations of the building elements, those with underlying conditions are likely to have highly severe side effects. But in low doses, purification tablets are among the best options for water treatment.
Livestrong: How Water Purification Tablets Work
National Capital Poison Center: Are Water Purifying Chemicals Safe?
WebMD: Iodine – Uses, Side Effects, and More