~ Where the Sun Will Never Set on Our liberty ~
I hesitate even posting this as I am unsure of the product even after considerable research. I stumbled across an item while looking to add 2% tincture of iodine to our water treatment 'section' of sorts of our Prepare page.
First, let me tell you what I know. There are a number of ways to treat/disinfect water, some of them more effective than others. Most all products you see for water 'purification' do not purify water. Products and techniques most often utilized in the survival/prepper communities either filter water to varying degrees, or disinfect water to varying degrees. Special and careful attention as to what all is filtered and what exactly the chemical kills should be made. The best method for disinfection of water is boiling. The CDC website states:
"Most germs die quickly at high temperatures. Water that has been boiled for 1 minute is safe to drink after it has cooled. If no other method of water disinfection is available, very hot tap water may be safe to drink if it has been in the tank for a while."
This information is not entirely complete as I understand it. The reason the CDC recommends the above is that germs begin dying at about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The recommended boiling duration of one minute for water disinfection that the CDC provides factors in the time it takes for water to heat from 165 degrees to a boiling temperature of 212 degrees when speaking of the time it takes to disinfect water (killing the bacteria, viruses, cysts and protozoa etc.) using this method. However, at high altitude, water boils at a lower temperature so I would suggest extending the boil-time to 3 minutes to allow enough time to properly disinfect water. Regardless, it is always best to filter as many particulates out of your water as possible before attempting to chemically treat, further filter and/or disinfect your water via ultraviolet saturation or boiling.
Just because you see animals drinking from a source of water does not mean it is safe for people to drink. All water that you are not 100% positive that it is safe should be filtered, treated, and/or boiled prior to consumption whenever possible. There are times when boiling water may not be possible so other means of disinfection may become a must due to circumstance. This is why there are so many products available to filter or chemically treat water to make it more potable prior to consumption. 2% tincture of iodine can be a useful thing to pack in your backpacking, hiking, and/or bug out bags because it is a multi-use item that can be used to both treat wounds as well as help make water more safe for human consumption.
There are many different iodine tinctures available on the market. The most common that I see for use of the above purposes seems to contain the following chemical composition/active ingredients: Iodine (2%), Alcohol (47% by volume), Purified Water, and Sodium Iodine (2.4%). However, using iodine of any kind for water or wound treatment by people with allergies to shellfish or have thyroid problems should be avoided. The following website, http://www.waterpurificationtabletspro.com/facts-and-tips/ contains the following with regard to using iodine for water treatment:
Iodine is required for a proper thyroid function, but it can effect the thyroid function if you use too much or too less iodine. Iodine is also added to table salt in many countries around the world to insure the right amount of dietary iodine. Iodine is rapidly metabolized and cleared from the body and the intake of iodine are accommodated by the normal thyroid gland. Iodine tablets can be used by persons with a normal thyroid function for a short time (six weeks or less). You must not use iodine tablets if you have thyroid problems, an iodine allergy or when you are pregnant.
Thyroid problems can seriously affect metabolism and body function. Iodine is an essential element that enables the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. But, if you are using too much iodine it leads to hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroiditis. If you have a thyroid condition, you should not use iodine. If you have an iodine allergy or when you are pregnant, you should not use iodine.
If you use water purification tablets you have to be careful of the temperature of the water you are purifying. If the contaminated water has a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit you need at least 20 to 30 minutes for purification. If the contaminated water has a temperature of about 40 degrees Fahrenheit you need at least one hour to purify the water. So, colder water will take longer for purification. Warm the contaminated water in the sun before adding the water purification tablets.
Enter in Lugol's Solution. This tincture/solution is sold as a talisman only which is why I am unsure of the product. Its chemical composition varies from the aforementioned and is generally sold as a 2% tincture or 5% tincture containing the following ingredients: Aqueous solution. 94% distilled water. 4% Potassium Iodide. 2% Iodine. or with 85% distilled water 5% Iodine and 10% Potassium Iodide. This is a link to J.Crow's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for their 5% iodine Solution: http://www.jcrows.com/msds5.pdf
The product description is what caught my eye concerning the Lugol's iodine solution which states, in part, the following: "The iodine used in J.CROW'S® Lugol's Solution is derived from mined crystals, not from shellfish or kelp. Always fresh. Does not expire. Store at room temperature. Keep out of direct sunlight. No need to refrigerate." Iodine tablets used for water treatment have a shelf-life of approximately 4 - 5 years from the date of manufacture if stored in their recommended environment and temperature. Most people are unaware of this, and some companies do not expressly state an expiration date on the front of the product. Take for example the following: http://www.coghlans.com/products/drinking-water-tablets-7620 The expiration date is not stated clearly on the package. You have to learn to use their lot number on the product to determine the date of manufacture, and thus when it will expire.
This Lugol's solution does not expire apparently so will stay usable as long as it is stored properly. It might even be usable by people if they are allergic to shellfish since the iodine used in this solution is derived via other means. However, if you have any allergies , are on any medications, have thyroid problems, or are pregnant you either should not use this product or should at least consult with a doctor to see if the product is usable by you. If any of you have any further information regarding this product, please let me know. I hope the information in this post proves useful.
**NOTE: THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS THE BEST INFORMATION CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO ME, AND IS BELIEVED TO BE ACCURATE. ANYONE READING THIS POST SHOULD DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH TO DETERMINE THE SUITABILITY OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION FOR THEIR PARTICULAR PURPOSES. NEITHER I NOR THIS WEBSITE MAKE ANY GUARANTEES EXPRESS OR IMPLIED AS TO THE ABOVE INFORMATION. NEITHER I NOR THIS WEBSITE SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY USE OR MISUSE OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION. IN NO EVENT SHALL I OR THIS WEBSITE BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIMS, LOSSES, OR DAMAGES OF ANY THIRD PARTY OR FOR LOST PROFITS OR ANY SPECIAL, IDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, HOWSOEVER ARISING FROM THE USE OR MISUSE OF ANY OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION OR PRODUCTS DISCUSSED THEREIN.**
Tweeting this out and bringing back to the main for those that didn't see it yet!
British Prepper site picked this up today and posted it in their blog!
Back to the front for new folks! Tweeting again
Bringing back to front and tweeting this out!
It's funny you did this today because I just saw on a survival/prepping site some absolutely awful advice and erroneous information about storing and treating water. It really aggravates me to see that kind of crap. Especially when there has been quality information out there for a long time now. That's why I always encourage people to do their own research. I hope you're having a good day.
Thought I'd bring this back to main page. Lot's of questions on this subject.
I REALLY NEED to read this whole post again. And, I am doing it! ;) It's been a long time since we went over water and I must say I have FORGOTTEN some things. Time for water cramming 101
Bumping back to the main page and tweeting again.
As I sit here reading over this, it blows me away just how much research you have done over the years. I don't know anyone better at it than you, Rahth!
Tweeting this out again! Great research and information.