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#194600 - 03/28/16 06:27 PM Iodine for water disinfection--warning!
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6561
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
First, my personal experience:
I have had to avoid iodine altogether because of sensitivity, caused by using it to disinfect my drinking water back in the 1980's. It took only 4 weeks of weekend hiking before i broke out in an nasty, all-over, deep-seated rash (lichen planus) which itched horribly and left permanent scars. I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy! Since then I've had to avoid all iodized salt, seafood, mutivitamin/mineral supplements containing iodine and any other foods containing iodine (many energy bars have it added). Even tiny amounts will trigger the rash. Basically, I have to (1) Carefully read labels on everything; (2) Avoid seafood altogether--including salmon; (3) Avoid restaurant food unless they confirm they use non-iodized salt or I order foods that can be prepared at the last minute without salt (often I'm stuck with green salad with oil and vinegar); (4) Turn down invitations to meals at the homes of friends or relatives unless they assure me that their food is prepared with non-iodized salt.

Second, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry:
Iodine is needed for your thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. You and your thyroid gland are healthy when there is just enough iodine in your body, about 10�15 milligrams, so that just the right amount of thyroid hormones are produced. This amount would look like much less than a pinch of table salt if if placed in your hand. This amount of iodine is in most people when they eat the foods that people normally eat in the United States. Your thyroid gland can become unhealthy if more or less than this amount of iodine is in your body. An unhealthy thyroid gland can affect your entire body.

Per the CDC's Water Disinfection for Travelers:
Because iodine has physiologic activity, WHO recommends limiting iodine water disinfection to a few weeks of emergency use. Iodine use is not recommended for people with unstable thyroid disease or known iodine allergy. In addition, iodine should not be used by pregnant women because of the potential effect on the fetal thyroid.
[emphasis mine]

Edited by OregonMouse (03/28/16 06:37 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#194601 - 03/28/16 07:32 PM Re: Iodine for water disinfection--warning! [Re: OregonMouse]
bluefish Offline

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 678
In the 70's and 80's I purified my water by drinking copious amounts of C3H7OH. I never filtered and if the water looked really bad it was boiled. I never got sick, well.... some awful pounding headaches and queasy stomachs...
Seriously, that is a horror story, OM. I'm really sorry that happened. Thank you for relaying that very vital information. My wife, who takes thyroid medication and seems prone to reactions would not fare well with iodine treatment in water. I'm going to research how it might effect her in general food intake. We rarely eat salmon, but we're having it twice next week (smoked, in pouches) as part of our dinners in the Grand Canyon. Tough enough for us to get from river to rim without exacerbating her thyroid condition. Worth researching. I hate chlorine with a passion, so I'm very happy for packable efficient filters, that have kept us safe for quite a few years, now. Off to do some reading on iodine and thyroid conditions- thanks again OM.

Edit: I didn't find anything definitive, but it appears that eating foods that contain iodine isn't going to do much for or to my wife; at least in the short term. It was certainly worth checking, though.

Edited by bluefish (03/29/16 06:57 AM)

#195011 - 04/21/16 02:36 AM Re: Iodine for water disinfection--warning! [Re: OregonMouse]
ndwoods Offline

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 572
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
That's food for thought. I have had a couple mystery rashes that were pretty nasty in last couple of years...
_________________________ and

#195095 - 04/25/16 07:04 PM Re: Iodine for water disinfection--warning! [Re: bluefish]
Jim M Offline

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 281
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Thanks for the information. I do use a little Iodine, (one or two drops of 2% tincture of I in a quart) but we happen to mostly be where the water does not need disinfecting (we can see it melting off the glaciers or snowfields). I wouldn't be so confident, but my climbing buddies have been drinking untreated water for many many years without a problem other than the dementia which they had all along from the beginning. What the heck is C3H7OH? Did you per chance mean C2H5OH: Now that is something I can agree with, especially the type imported from Scotland.

Hold on. I looked it up in a couple of reference books I have. Cyclopenten-1-olate. Hmm. " Narcotic in high Concentrations" says The Condensed Chemical Dictonary, 10th ed by Gessner G Hawley
Jim M

#195363 - 05/16/16 03:06 PM Re: Iodine for water disinfection--warning! [Re: OregonMouse]
Reggie Offline

Registered: 05/16/16
Posts: 14
Loc: Europe
Iodine was banned in a 2009 or thereabouts European directive as a chemical for purifying drinking water.
A quick and pretty reliable water purification method is Potassium permanganate (KMnO4) aka Condy's crystals. You only need a 3 or crystals per liter (until it starts to turn pink), and let sit for 30 minutes.
In stronger doses, it's also a great antiseptic.
Don't overdo it on the drinking water unless you want your teeth to turn brown!

Edited by aimless (05/16/16 04:12 PM)
Edit Reason: signature links not allowed for newbie members


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