Water Purification - Iodone or Chlorine?

Travel Forums Travel Gear Water Purification - Iodone or Chlorine?

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1. Posted by Moonmonkey (Budding Member 52 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi guys

Amongst the endless list of thing I need to buy before I head off to S America is water purification tabs/drops. Is there any difference between Chlorine and Iodine? Is one better than the other? Any advice appreciated.

Some might say I don't need to bring them but for the sake of it and for the room they take up I think it would be unwise not to!



2. Posted by Dezafinado (Full Member 177 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Between the two, I prefer Chlorine. There's also purification tablets, which is most convenient. No bottle, no liquid = no spilling. They're more expensive though.

I'm using AquaMira(US)/Pristine(Canada). It comes in 2 bottles. Mixed in equal amounts for 5 minutes, add to water and wait 15 minutes before drinking. The chemicals are Chlorine Dioxide and Phosphoric Acid used by water purification plants in cities. Using the correct amount, it has almost no taste or after-taste... just like tap water.

Water purifier is bulkier but more convenient option since there's no waiting time. These can neutralize/remove virii:


3. Posted by nicdavid (Respected Member 49 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Iodene! We got Chlorine and found out that it doesn't kill everything and that you can still contract gastro from it! Which means you'll be suffering from runny poo and being sick for a while So we got Iodene and also some tablets which supposedly take the nasty taste away.

4. Posted by Moonmonkey (Budding Member 52 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Oh dear I already bought chlorine.................

Thanks for the tip though, I'll get some iodine now aswell :)

5. Posted by Budai (Respected Member 506 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

iodine for me as well... but i try to stay away from it as much as possible - cant stand the taste and its not too healthy as well. purifier is gd if u dont mind the weight/space

6. Posted by rover9495 (Budding Member 35 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

never used them myself but i was told the other day by a nurse at tropical school of medicine that if you are planning on using them long term that iodine is not a good choice, she said used long term it can cause some dodgy side effects

7. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

'dodgy' being the understatement of the century... in the highly unlikely case (for the average traveller, that is) that you're away from bottled water for longer than, say, a week, it is highly recommended to look for alternative means of purification. To the best of my knowledge, there is little that can resist a combination of carbon filtration and boiling. But, buying bottled water is the easiest and safest solution by far.

Wikipedia, ever knowledgeable on everything, features a rather good article on portable water purification.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 19, 2007, at 1:00 AM by bentivogli ]

8. Posted by asey16 (Budding Member 51 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

There are many factors involved in choosing between iodine and chlorine for water purification.
Firstly, and most inportantly, is the fact that Chlorine may not kill 100% or organisms etc. that are in contaminated water. However it is not guaranteed that iodine will kill 100% either but it will kill alot more than chlorine. Depending on where you are and the quality of the water iodine may be the better option as it is much stronger. In addition in its liquid form can be diluted and used to disinfect cuts and grazes (or used neat OUCH).
However iodine is not always the better option.
Luckily iodine intollerence is pretty rare and you can check with your doctor if you are unsure.
It is also recommended that Iodine not be used for long periods of time as it is not good for the body (this is separate from the above medical warning). Chlorine can be used safely for longer periods.
The use of Chlonine tends to give water a 'swimming pool' like taste (especially if the water isn't cold). However this can be over come by adding another chemical to neutralise the taste.
Iodine (to me) tastes like muddy water but I prefer the taste to that of chlorine. I don't normally carry neutralising tablets as I am used to the taste and it doesn't bother me.
Boiling water is also at effected method in killing most orgnaisms etc. but it must be kept on a HIGH boil for at least 10 minutes.
Which ever you choose make sure you always read the label, and use sealed bottled water where ever you can (its easier)

9. Posted by Dezafinado (Full Member 177 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Folks, don't use household bleach (Chlorine, Sodium Hypochlorite, NaOCl)! The stuff water treatment plant uses is Chlorine dioxide (ClO2). It is more effective than Chlorine against viruses, bacteria and protozoa... ie Giardia and Crypto.

10. Posted by george1979 (Full Member 101 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

i've bought someting called Aquatabs - haven't used them yet but they are supposed to be quite good.
I believe they are chlorine based tablets.