5
$\begingroup$

I think it was Nat Geo.. Not sure exactly.. Where I heard, years ago, that a drop of iodine can be used to disinfect water of say, 1 litre.

But isn't chlorine used to kill all bacteria? I mean I don't completely remember that documentary but I'm pretty sure it was iodine that they used.

Can iodine be used or does my memory fail me?

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ "Purify" is the wrong word. You don't purify water by adding more impurities to it. Say "disinfect" instead. Then yes, iodine can be used to that end, as well as chlorine. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Sep 10 '17 at 12:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As @IvanNeretin states, iodine, as well as chlorine and bromine, are effective disinfectants. See amazon.com/Coghlans-Emergency-Germicidal-Purification-Treatment/…. These halogens, as well as ozone, kill microorganisms though oxidation. [Fluorine is too toxic and corrosive to use for this.] $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik Sep 10 '17 at 22:23
3
$\begingroup$

Short answer: Both chlorine and iodine in specific concentrations are used for water disinfection.

Iodine has been used to disinfect water for a long time. It is used in concentrations between 2.5 ppm to 7 ppm, but there is some controversy regarding the maximum safe dose of iodine because excess of iodine consumption in humans can lead to various diseases(thyroid disorders being very common). I believe this is the reason we have moved towards more safer options like chlorine for water disinfection.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ What dosage of iodine do you recommend then? You've mentioned it's 2.5ppm to 7 but I regret I'm no pro and don't know into how many drops of iodine it translate into for 1 ltr... Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Macindows Sep 11 '17 at 11:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.