The fact that unfiltered drinking water can cause real harm to health make us look for good ways to filter water we drink. Reverse osmosis method of water purification was discovered by scientists more than a hundred years ago, however, this technology started to be used widely not long ago. Nowadays RO systems are being successfully used in industry, medicine and at home, but people still debate the question of its harm or benefit and believe in myths. Let’s try to sort out the issue.
Myth 1: Reverse osmosis removes useful minerals.
We have heard this old truth many times from filter-producing companies, which try to convince us that their filters remove all the bad contaminants from water. Thus, people were made believe that useful minerals go away together with bad things. Fortunately, many reputable companies do not put such ambiguous claims in their advertising.
Reverse osmosis, in fact, kills bacteria, viruses and removes heavy metals, radionuclides, and organic and inorganic compounds. Reverse osmosis also removes minerals that fall within the category of inorganic contaminants. But are these minerals useful or useless? It is the subject of heated argument.
Undoubtedly, we get all the minerals from food: fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, grains, nuts and dairy products. On the other hand, the content of minerals in water is very poor, for example, we need to drink 676 glasses of water from the tap to get the recommended daily intake of calcium. We need to drink 1848 glasses of water to get the daily amount of magnesium, and 848 cups are enough to get a daily dose of iron. Even to think about the possibility of drinking that much water is complete madness. Most people cannot just drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day!
What do we mean when we think about water? H2O? It is true as for distilled water, however, the water we get from the tap has different trace elements. From all points of view, water, filtered by reverse osmosis, fits with the definition of pure drinking water.
Myth 2: Filtered water washes away vital minerals from our bodies
This is ridiculous! Supporters of this myth want us to believe that because the RO technology is so clean, it will flush away minerals, depriving us of health and nutrition. There is no scientific proof of it. RO water as well as any other water cannot wash away important minerals that become integral parts of our cells. Water dissolves and washes away only what our bodies want to get rid of.
Myth 3: Reverse-osmosis water destroys teeth.
This statement tries to convince us that a long use of filtered drinking water, from which all traces of fluoride are removed, can (presumably) lead to tooth decay. In fact, many people use water, cleaned by RO technology, and have absolutely no problems with their teeth. Moreover, medical authorities are not certain about fluoride and teeth health.
Myth 4: Reverse-osmosis water is tasteless.
Perhaps, it is the most popular myth about filtered water. It appeared when the past filtration systems did not contain the preliminary and final carbon filters. The final carbon filter is extremely important, because it serves as a “polishing” filter to remove volatile impurities that may give water a bad taste. During the last stage, in some systems water is treated with UV radiation that kills 99.99% of microorganisms.
Moreover, the prejudice about tastelessness of filtered water supports by people who got used to drink chlorinated water or water with high iron content. Taste is the number one reason why people buy bottled water. Many consumers are convinced that the minerals in water may give it any taste. Remember that water is called a universal solvent. It absorbs everything that comes in contact. Since the RO water is completely free of contaminants, it can absorb the taste of low quality plastic bottles in which it is stored. High-quality materials that come in contact with water does not contain any odors. Reverse-osmosis water itself tastes fresh, close to the taste of melted water, which environmentalists believe to be the safest.
Thus, the water from Reverse Osmosis water filters is by far the cleanest drinking water we have and it is completely suitable for safe use. As to its taste – tastes differ, and we never know until we try.