Last year was a productive and interesting year! Highlights of 2012 were definitely the 3 conferences and meetings worldwide, that dealt with the importance of minerals in drinking water.
The first important meeting was in June in Leipzig, with MR Andreas Heppe, the head and owner of the industry that produces Chitosan. Chitosan eliminates toxic substances from drinking water and is produced by treating shrimp and other crustacean shells. I’m part of an EU project on Chitosan, where I investigate whether the minerals/mineral balance of the water is preserved or not during the treatment. Heppe provides the team with Chitosan. Prof. Prosun Bhattacharya,Land and Water Resources Engineering at KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, studies elimination of radioactive substances, arsenic etc. The experiments look very promising so far – minerals appear to be preserved throughout the treatment, while toxins are eliminated. We look forward to further experiments in 2013-2014.
Next stop in Europe was Prague, to attend a meeting with the co-authors to the IWA (International Water Association) prospective monograph “Drinking water minerals and mineral balance – importance and health significance, precautious principle”, where I am the editor. The aim of the monograph is, to extend the focus of standards from undesirable substances and highest acceptable levels of nutrient minerals, to basic mineral composition of water/mineral balance. We want a paradigm shift, so that drinking water is recognized as a source of minerals. Thus, we want lowest acceptable concentrations of a number of minerals in drinking water, in addition to the upper limits that already are presented in regulations. Present regulations are: WHO DRINKING WATER STANDARDS
The IWA conferences in Busan in Septemeberand Buenos Aires in December, were both very promising.
In Busan, I presented my research on the importance of minerals from drinking water on a seminar. Prof. Asher Brenner, Israel, talked about remineralization experiments after RO (Reverse Osmosis) treatment of drinking water. In addition, Jennifer De France, WHO, presented the WHO position in regards to drinking water as a source of minerals. At present, WHO as stated above, only regulates upper levels of toxic and nutrient minerals. However, Jennifer recognized this new approach as valuable.
I had an oral presentation at the IWA Regional Conference on Membrane Technology 2012 in Buenos Aires Argentina. This was the only presentation about health impacts on humans from drinking RO water. A surprising fact, since millions of people drink RO water today, where health issues have been observed! My presentation was received with respect and suspicion: up til this day, noone had considered the health aspects from drinking RO water! All other presentations were about technological improvements regarding elimination of everything from toxins to minerals from the water. 100% elimination is the goal so far, amongst most researchers worldwide. With all my research over the years and all reports I’ve read, my conclusion is the opposite: Minerals from drinking water are crucial!
I’m looking forward to see how 2013 evloves: it would be a dream come true to see the progress of mineral balanced water evolve worldwide.
/ Ingegerd Rosborg