How to reduce the risk of infection: the article discusses the various positive effects of filtering drinking water at home during the spread of infections and epidemics of diseases caused by bacteria and viruses, in particular, corona-virus.
In one of our previous articles, we examined various devices and systems for treating drinking water. The question was also considered there – why is it necessary to purify even “drinking” water from the tap.
Now we will focus on the question – how household filters for drinking water purification can be useful during the spread of infections, epidemics (pandemics) of respiratory diseases caused by various pathogens (bacteria and viruses). Since this article was written during the mass distribution of the coronavirus COVID-19, this virus will be considered in more detail.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus COVID-19 (other names: Novel nCOV, 2019-nCoV, NCP2019-nCoV, SARS-Cov-2) belongs to the same genus of Betacoronaviruses as the well-known causative agent SARS-CoV. The virus spreads in the form of spherical virus particles (virions), with protein spikes, which give it a resemblance to the solar corona (when viewed under an electron microscope).
Of all the characteristics of this virus, for filtering purposes, it is mainly the size of the viral particle that matters. The diameter of its sphere is from 60 to 140 nanometers. The height of the protrusions averages 9-12 nm. Thus, the size of the viral particle, taking into account the spikes, is 80-160 nanometers (0.08-0.16 microns).
In addition, the fact that viral particles usually do not move on their own, alone, matters. As a rule, the virus spreads in various cells of the affected organism and physiological fluids. For example, up to 100 million genomes per 1 ml of mucus are found in the nasopharynx of a sick person. Viral RNA is also found in tissue samples, feces and urine of patients.
Therefore, if we consider the filtering issues during the spread of infection, the size of the infected cell of the organism – the carrier of the virus, can be much larger – 3000-30000 nanometers (3-30 microns), which is of more practical importance.
Which water filtration technologies can eliminate coronavirus?
Reverse osmosis filtration
Reverse osmosis filtration is ultra-thin and, of course, is able to stop the coronavirus. During the filtration process, only water molecules (0.3 nanometers in size) pass through the membrane. This is 200-500 times smaller than the size of viral particles. This is why reverse osmosis is an insurmountable barrier to contaminants of biological origin, bacteria, and most viruses (including COVID-19).
For this reason, reverse osmosis plants are used to sterilize water in medical institutions.
Reverse osmosis systems for home and office are fairly compact and uncomplicated devices, usually installed under a kitchen sink. The osmosis process is quite slow, but even the most inexpensive systems can provide the owner with a solid amount of ideal, absolutely clean drinking water – about 180 liters (50 gallons) per day at a filtration rate of 7-8 liters per hour.
We may find reverse osmosis filters of a classic type with replaceable elements measuring 2.5×10 inches, for example, Aquaphor OSMO-50 Trio. Other devices may be produced in the form of more compact modern installations, like Aquaphor DWM-101s Morion.
The latter option provides for the replacement of filter elements together with their housings – this is a bit more expensive, but much faster (thanks to Click & Turn technology). It is also important that this technology eliminates human contact with the contaminated elements as well as the need to wash and disinfect their enclosures.
Multi-stage flow filters.
Such devices are more compact and easier to install, compared with filters based on reverse osmosis. The degree of micro-filtration of such installations depends entirely on the used filter elements (cartridges). Usually a three-stage purification takes place, and the last element carries out the finest filtration.
For example, in the case of the use of a three-stage Aquaphor Crystal filter, the element K7 or K7B can be used as a cartridge for final purification. The K7 element consists of a combination of pressed activated carbon of the coconut shell with Aqualen fibers (Carb-Fiber Block, CFB) and is capable of retaining particles larger than 0.8 microns. The K7B element, in addition to CFB, has a special hollow fiber (HF) membrane, which allows it to trap very small particles down to 0.1 microns.
As a result, these filters have a degree of purification not as perfect as reverse osmosis systems, but quite sufficient to fight the most contaminants.
Filtering jugs (pitchers).
Most filter jugs have only one filtering element, and the degree of purification of which is significantly lower than that of more complex systems. However, these simple devices can be successfully used in combination with boiling. Boiling kills most microbes and viruses, but not everyone likes the taste of boiled water – it can increase the unpleasant aftertaste of the impurities of the source water: metal from the pipes, calcium salts in hard water, etc. In this case, a filtering jug will help.
Filtration of water in a jug before boiling eliminates the unpleasant odor of chlorine, metals and other impurities. The use of magnesium cartridges (for example, B25Mg or A5Mg), in addition, softens hard water and enriches it with useful substances.
If the source water is very hard, and after boiling, the calcium salts precipitate as the flakes of unpleasant taste and look, a filtering jug can be used to filter the water after boiling, however the water must be allowed to cool, and this should be a separate jug.
A filtering pitcher can also be useful as an inexpensive temporary solution if it is not possible to install a stationary filter (temporary housing, a business or tourist trip).
Other positive aspects of the use of water filters.
Of course, the above conclusions as applied to the new coronavirus are theoretical and have not yet been verified experimentally. However, there are also quite practical aspects, confirmed by long experience of using filtering systems.
No doubt that any purification of raw water improves its quality, removes toxins, allergens and makes the water healthier. The use of clean and high-quality water, as a result, strengthens a person’s health and immunity, and hence the ability to resist diseases.
With bronchitis, flu and pneumonia (both for prevention and during treatment), doctors recommend drinking plenty of water, and it is important that this water is safe and of high quality.
As for bottled water, it is necessary to distinguish between branded mineral water from certain natural sources and inexpensive bottled drinking water. The filter for drinking water will not turn tap water into mineral, medicinal or medicinal-canteen. However, it will successfully replace ordinary bottled water, and at the same time, the cost of a liter of high-quality purified water will be several times less. On-site water filtration eliminates both the difficulties of its delivery and the need for further disposal of non-environmentally friendly plastic bottles.
Moreover, during a viral or bacterial epidemic, and even more so in quarantine, this becomes especially important. Many people ask the question – how not to get infected with the virus, how can you avoid infection? The main advice that experts give is to limit your presence in a potentially contaminated atmosphere. A home filter for drinking water, as an inexhaustible source, allows you to leave your home less often, reduce the number of visits to the supermarket, and therefore reduces the risk of infection from other people. For those who are already sick, this opportunity is even more important, as it provides the conditions for recovery without the risk of infecting others.
Considering the above, we come to the conclusion that the use of filtration systems not only improves the taste and smell of drinking water and let you enjoy the true taste of your favorite foods and drinks, without any impurities. Most importantly, clean and safe water is absolutely essential for maintaining good health.
Now, with the ubiquity of seasonal respiratory infections, flu, and coronavirus, there are many reports of people laying in stock pasta, cereals, and even toilet paper. The motivation of those people to stockpile for a rainy day is understandable. However, it is much more logical to invest in something that is absolutely impossible to do without; which will be necessary even after the coronavirus panic comes to naught – in the source of high-quality and safe water in your home.
You can purchase filters, jugs, filter cartridges and related products in the Promarket-EU online store.
This article includes links to the examples of devices, which are discussed, on the our corporate website, on Amazon marketplace, and/or online store ProMarket. You may use them if you are interested to get more detailed information or you want to buy something you like with EU delivery.
If you have a related business (for example, a store for household goods and household appliances, a pharmacy or a business for plumbers), you can offer your customers a new high-quality and profitable product. For wholesale discounts and a sales representative deals, please write to ProMarket by email.
Photos and technical details courtesy of Aquaphor, ProMarket.