Are RO machines harmful to health

Recent WHO study indicates that RO machines remove calcium and magnesium completely from water and hence the water extracts calcium and magnesium from the food we eat and the same is passed in urine depriving us of these essential minerals which leads to other complications.

Are there standards for RO machines in India. Shouldnt they be required to add back the calcium and magnesium thats extracted from water.

Experts and BIS please advise and how you can help. more  

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Yes Kirtika. You are right. But RO machines are purposefully getting blamed.We manufacture RO machines for domestic as well as industrial use. In both the systems you have TDS control mechanism.You can design the TDS as per your requirement.The only thing is the technology provided should be standard. more  
Such system reduces resistance power of the body hence too much of filteration should be avoided.Certain salt contents are necessary for body.If you remember in Good old days well water was preferred to tap water because well water contains certain salts which are good for digestive system. more  
Every astrologer will have their own reading of your star-constellations........
How many of them should or would one follow....???? more  
Each technology has its pros and cons. The trouble starts when we blindly following others in the belief that what is good for the other is good for me as well. Let us look at some of these:

RO Water Filter
RO is meant to be used in certain situations viz when one is dependant on ground water supply (borewell) or untreated surface water. Both these sources are contaminated and at most places in India contain high levels of unwanted dissolved solids. One is prone to many different life threatening diseases and disabilities if this water is consumed without treatment. RO is the only available technology to be safely used at homes today. That said it is best to get the water quality tested for dissolved impurities first before investing in RO. The tests can be done at any of the water testing laboratories available at many places.
It is wrong to say that the RO water removes Calcium and Magnesium from the body. Water is not the only source of the Calcium, Magnesium or any other minerals for our body. We get minerals mainly from the foods we eat. Dissolved minerals only provide a certain taste to water. Our kidneys are the organs which retain or remove the minerals from our body.
While it is true that RO removes all the dissolved minerals and impurities from the water but it may be necessary in certain situations and it does not affect ones health. But at the same time unnecessarily investing in a RO (where it is not required) and expect health benefits is totally wrong. It is going to be only a financial burden.
Using RO water in situations where potable (municipal water / potable borewell water) is available is totally wrong as it wastes lot of precious potable water.

UV Filter:
UV filter can be safely used in the situations where treated water is being provided by the municipal corporations. This is because of the exposure of the treated water to contamination along the way while being supplied to households. Most of the time the pipelines are laid next to sewage pipelines, waterpipe lines are leaking or deliberately broken, passing through slums, under roads with multiple leakages.
UV filters usually use a microporous membrane (cloth) and charcoal to filter the dissolved impurities and an UV lamp to kill the virus and bacteria's.

Filtering Water (cloth / candle filters) / Boiling Water / Copper Vessels:
This is the oldest and proven technology for filtering potable water. However in todays world it can be safely used only in the circumstances for the treated municipal water / drinking water wells / borewells with soft potable water.
Filtering with cotton cloth removes solid impurities, while boiling kills most of the germs and removes sediments. It is advisable to add a little quantity of alum (Hindi - Phitkari) first in the water, keep it for 15 - 20 minutes and then filter it with cloth. Using Alum removes the dissolved and undissolved solid impurities.

Depending on one's water source one can use any one of the suitable options.
Government should consider banning RO filters in the areas where Municipal water is being supplied to avoid wastage pf precious resource.

Also the central government / state governments should make it a priority to supply treated potable water to every household (Like has been done for electrification and Swachh Bharat). more  
Which standard you are talking about? Ours is a country where no one bothers to maintain the minimum stipulated standards in any area, as stipulated by the enacting laws. The people are never made aware of the pros & cons so that they themselves could atleast take a right decision at their own. The defaulters who mean only their own benefits with scant attention even towards public health are seldom taken into task and proceeded against by the government agencies.

Since the organisation like WHO have concluded that RO removes the essential minerals and other essential substances from the drinking water, our government should immediately look into the matter and the Public Health Department must clarify the issue suggesting for the alternatives in the event of finding use of RO for drinking water harmful, as looking to the quality of drinking water in most part of our country, drinking water needs to be purified before consumption. more  
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