Are Water Purification Tablets Safe?

Iodine, chlorine, or chlorine dioxide are common ingredients in water purification pills. These pills are safe for persons with no underlying medical issues, based on the typical water intake of an average individual.

Water purification pills, on the other hand, may not be acceptable for pregnant women or those with medical issues such as thyroid disease or allergies.

It is also worth noting that water filtering pills may not be the most efficient water filtration approach because they don't remove viruses completely.

How Do Water Purification Tablets Function?

Chlorine, chlorine dioxide, or iodine are the most common active ingredients in water filtration tablets. Usually, water filtration tablets include a variety of compounds that disintegrate in water to unleash the components. These compounds are generated when they are absorbed and destroy bacteria, viruses, and parasitic protozoa. They achieve this by rupturing the bacteria' cell membranes, enabling the chemicals to penetrate and deactivate them.

Are These Chemicals Secure?


Don't worry, this isn't the same chlorine that's used to keep swimming pools clean. Chlorine is a common water sanitizer, and most tap water that is considered safe to drink has been disinfected with chlorine.


Iodine is an essential vitamin for your body and this is why you have iodized salt. Too much iodine, on the other hand, is unhealthy for your body because it oxidizes proteins. Water purification pills, on the other hand, are unlikely to cause an iodine excess.

A common purification concentration for drinking water is around 3 mg/liter. The CDC estimates that consuming 2-3 grams of iodine is deadly. This would need you to consume 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water.

Not to mention the fact that your body can naturally break down iodine, it is nearly hard to acquire anything near the deadly level. Iodine, on the other hand, may pose health hazards to:

  • Pregnant women: too much iodine can harm the mother's thyroid health.
  • Individuals with thyroid conditions: iodine may induce the thyroid to generate too much or too few hormones, based on either the person has hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
  • Iodine allergy sufferers

Nausea and headaches are two frequent adverse effects. However, it is worth noting that the use of iodine as a water filter is prohibited in the European Union. Iodine is still marketed for various reasons (such as in salt), but it is no longer packaged for water treatment.

Chlorine dioxide

Chlorine dioxide is a more refined variant of chlorine. If you want, call it Chlorine 2.0. In comparison to chlorine, chlorine dioxide can sanitize a bigger volume of water for the similar quantity of money. It can also function with a wider variety of pH values.

Water Purification Tablets' Efficacy Against Bacteria and Viruses

Bacteria, viruses, and protozoa from human and animal feces are the most prevalent sources of pollution in wilderness water. Some of these can lead to sickness, death, or disease. During outdoor activities, the most common dangerous bacteria found are Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

  • Bacteria (for instance, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli)
  • Viruses (for instance, Enterovirus, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Rotavirus)
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia

Intestinal disease such as diarrhea, vomiting, and cramping are possible side effects of polluted drinking water. Human and animal feces are sources of germs in drinking water.

What Is the Best Way to Use Water Purification Tablets?

Using water purification tablets typically involves the following steps:

  • Use a paper filter or a small cloth to remove any particles from the water.
  • Add chlorine tablets to the water, making careful to use the right number of pills for the amount of water being purified.
  • Wait around 30 minutes to totally kill off contaminants. Check the label for the waiting time; it may be longer in various temperatures and situations, and iodine pills normally take longer. If you want to mask the chlorine or iodine taste, flavors or neutralizers can be added.
  • If desired, flavors or neutralizers can be added to the water to mask the chlorine or iodine taste. Letting the treated water to lie exposed to let the chlorine to dissipate can also eliminate the chlorine flavor.

How Long Do Water Purification Tablets Last?

Water purification pills can endure for years if carefully preserved. Because sunshine, high temperatures, and moisture can speed up the decomposition process, your pills are normally wrapped in foil or dark bottles. Keep them in a dark, cold, and dry location.

The efficacy of water purification tablets may be harmed if they reach their expiration date. Never use any tablets after they have expired, since their efficacy may be diminished. This is not something you want to risk.

What Are the Benefits of Water Treatment Tablets?

To destroy microorganisms and purify water, you add water filtration tablets to the supply. They're a quick way to cleanse water that would otherwise be polluted.

Common applications include clean and disinfect river or lake water when camping and in need of water supplies, or in emergency scenarios where typical water supplies are inaccessible due to a natural disaster.

Water-purifying compounds are commonly delivered to a water supply via tablets. They differ in terms of how long their effects stay and how long it takes for them to entirely dissipate. Chlorine, chlorine dioxide, or iodine are common main components in water treatment tablets.

When the tablet disintegrates, these chemicals will eliminate hazardous bacteria in the water supply, however the amount of their efficiency is determined on the quantity of the potent chemical in the tablet.


Water purification tablets can destroy germs but not hazardous pesticides in water sources. They are typically harmless, but improper usage can cause tongue and throat discomfort as well as gastrointestinal issues. Some water treatment pills might leave an unpleasant taste if they are not used with a neutralizer.

These tablets do not require any particular equipment to use, and they are frequently utilized as a backup source of water filtration when other systems fail.

They will not, however, eliminate silt or chemical contaminants from water supplies, and they may be less efficient versus specific kinds of microbes, such as protozoans, depending on the chemicals they include.

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