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Reverse osmosis: Whether a concern over the removal of minerals or not?

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Reverse Osmosis will generally remove salt, manganese, iron, flouride, lead, and calcium (Binnie et. al., 2002).  Most mineral constituents of water are physically larger than water molecules and they are trapped by the semi-permeable membrane and removed from drinking water when filtered through a RO (AllAboutWater.org, 2004).  Meanwhile, consumers are concerned about the removal of minerals from their drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis Remove Minerals

Reverse Osmosis (RO) removed more than 90-99.99% of all the contaminants including minerals from the drinking water supply (see Figure 1). RO removes minerals because they have smaller molecules than water. The subject of minerals and RO created controversy and disagreement among water and health professionals.  The World Health Organization (WHO) made clarification that majority of healthy minerals are needed for human body is from food or dietary supplementary sources and not from drinking tap water. In addition, minerals found in water can be harmful to human health.  The evidence is strong that calcium and magnesium are essential elements for human body (WQA, 2011).  However, its a weak argument to suggest that we should make up this deficiency through water consumption (WQA, 2011). Tap water presents a variety of inorganic minerals which human body has difficulty absorbing (Misner, 2004). Their presence is suspect in a wide array of degenerative diseases, such as hardening of the arteries, arthritis, kidney stones, gall stones, glaucoma, cataracts, hearing loss, emphysema, diabetes, and obesity. What minerals are available, especially in 'hard' tap water, are poorly absorbed, or rejected by cellular tissue sites, and, if not evacuated, their presence may cause arterial obstruction, and internal damage (Dennison, 193; Muehling, 1994; Banik, 1989).

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