Does the WHO (World Health Organisation) say that RO water is not good for health? Is RO water banned in any country
A similar question was asked in the popular Question and Answer website, Quora.com. I have answered this Question in Quora.com and I take the liberty of quoting from my answer there. The question on Quora.com was "Why is RO banned in some countries?"
My answer was as follows:
A search on Google to find which country has banned RO water or RO water purifier yielded results in which not even a single country is named. So no country has banned the use of RO water nor RO water filter purifiers.
But recently the National Green Tribunal of India, a body set up by an Act of the Indian Parliament which enables it to quickly dispose of the cases pertaining to environmental issues, ordered that RO purifiers should not be used in areas of New Delhi, India where the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) of public water supply is less than 500 ppm. This order was challenged in the Supreme Court of India, but on 22 November 2019 the Supreme Court refused to stay the order of the National Green Tribunal which prohibited the use of RO water purifiers in areas of Delhi where the TDS less than 500 per litre.
I support the Greens in almost all their campaigns, but their campaign for banning RO water purifiers is counter productive and I am against it. ....MORE
What does the WHO (World Health Organisation) say about RO Water
Many WhatsApp and other social media messages say that RO water is bad, not good for health and they refer to a WHO report to back their claims. These malicious Social Media messages goes on to falsly claim that RO water is banned in Europe and other countries. To find out the truth about these claims, let us first study the actual WHO report on RO water.
The WHO report in question is an article entitled 'HEALTH RISKS FROM DRINKING DEMINERALISED WATER' written by Mr. Frantisek Kozisek of the National Institute of Public Health, Czech Republic and published by the WHO (World Health Organisation). This is the link to this WHO report WHO RO water report In case you have difficulty in accessing the WHO website, we have included a full copy of the WHO RO water report in our website
You are welcome to read the full article, but to make it easier, we quote from the most relevant portions of the lengthy article below. These excerpts from the WHO report will shed light on what exactly the WHO report says and intended. The WHO report says that RO water may have some bad health effects if used directly without remineralization. The WHO report goes on to say that RO water is being widely consumed Globally and its use is increasing. The report concludes that if RO water is remineralized, then RO Water is safe to drink. All RO water purifiers, not only in India, but all over the world include a remineralisation cartridge filled with purified essential minerals after the RO membrane, to neutralise and remineralize RO water. All essential minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, etc. are added in RO water purifiers to make RO water meet or exceed the WHO recommendations.
These are the relevant portions of the lengthy WHO report. Please note that in the WHO report 'Demineralised Water' also means 'RO water' or 'Reverse Osmosis Water'.
Quoting from the WHO reportEnd of Quoting from the WHO report
...... In this chapter, demineralised water is defined as water almost or completely free of dissolved minerals as a result of distillation, deionization, membrane filtration (reverse osmosis or nanofiltration), electrodialysis or other technology. The total dissolved solids (TDS) in such water can vary but TDS could be as low as 1 mg/L. The electrical conductivity is generally less than 2 mS/m and may even be lower (<0.1 mS/m).
...... It was clear from the very beginning that desalinated or demineralised water without further enrichment with some minerals might not be fully appropriate for consumption.
...... Therefore, researchers focused on two issues: 1.) what are the possible adverse health effects of demineralised water, and 2.) what are the minimum and the desirable or optimum contents of the relevant substances (e.g., minerals) in drinking water needed to meet both technical and health considerations. The traditional regulatory approach, which was previously based on limiting the health risks from excessive concentrations of toxic substances in water, now took into account possible adverse effects due to the deficiency of certain constituents.
...... the World Health Organization (WHO) considered the issue of the desired or optimum mineral composition of desalinated drinking water by focusing on the possible adverse health effects of removing some substances that are naturally present in drinking water ...... study was conducted by a team of researchers of the A.N. Sysin Institute of General and Public Hygiene and USSR Academy of Medical Sciences under the direction of Professor Sidorenko and Dr. Rakhmanin. The final report, published in 1980 as an internal working document (3), concluded that “not only does completely demineralised water (distillate) have unsatisfactory organoleptic properities, but it also has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism”. After evaluating the available health, organoleptic, and other information, the team recommended that demineralised water contain
- a minimum level for dissolved salts (100 mg/L), bicarbonate ion (30 mg/L), and calcium (30 mg/L);
- an optimum level for total dissolved salts (250-500 mg/L for chloride-sulfate water and 250-500 mg/L for bicarbonate water);
- a maximum level for alkalinity (6.5 meq/l), sodium (200 mg/L), boron (0.5 mg/L), and bromine (0.01 mg/L).
...... During the last three decades, desalination has become a widely practiced technique in providing new fresh water supplies. There are more than 11 thousand desalination plants all over the world with an overall production of more than 6 billion gallons of desalinated water per day (Cotruvo, in this book). In some regions such as the Middle East and Western Asia more than half of the drinking water is produced in this way. Desalinated waters are commonly further treated by adding chemical constituents such as calcium carbonate or limestone, or blended with small volumes of more mineral-rich waters to improve their taste and reduce their aggressiveness to the distribution network as well as plumbing materials.
...... The potential for adverse health effects from long term consumption of demineralised water is of interest not only in countries lacking adequate fresh water, but also in countries where some types of home water treatment systems are widely used or where some types of bottled water are consumed. Some natural mineral waters, in particular glacial mineral waters, are low in TDS (less than 50 mg/l) and in some countries, even distilled bottled water has been supplied for drinking purposes. Other brands of bottled water are produced by demineralising fresh water and then adding minerals for desirable taste.
Conclusions reached after reading the WHO report
From the above it is clear what the WHO is saying: Don't drink RO water without it being reminerlised. All water purifiers in India and all over the world do just that. They have a special cartridge filled with purified essential minerals over which the RO water flows and becomes remineralised in accordance with the WHO guidelines.
So, let not this misinformation 'WHO bans RO water' or 'RO water unhealthy because it has no essential minerals' dissuade you from buying an RO water purifier. With an RO water purifier installed in your house you can be sure that you are getting the best possible drinking water, as good as, if not better, than the best bottled water available in India or anywhere in the world. Talking about bottled water, they are purified with RO water purifiers and then the RO water is re-mineralised with pure minerals, just like in RO water purifiers. Nobody says that the water in genuine bottled water is not good but that the plastic bottle causes the water to turn bad and unhealthy. The problem with bottled water is not the water but the plastic bottles it is packed in.
One important point to mention here. The RO water filter is doing its job of purifying drinking water by getting rid of all the salts in the water. This includes all toxic chemicals like Arsenic, Mercury, Heavy metals, Nitrates, etc. which can cause great health damage. In this process of removing the poison chemicals from water, it also removes essential minerals. This loss of essential minerals in water is insignificant when you compare it with the benefits of being sure that your water is free from all poisonous chemicals.
So yes, RO water is too pure, like distilled water, without any minerals, but it is good for health because you are sure you are not getting any poison chemicals in your drinking water. You can get plenty of essential minerals from the food you eat. Also good RO water Purifiers have a remineralising cartridge which can add minerals to the pure RO water at the final stage to remineralise the RO purified water with purified essential minerals like Calcium, magnesium, etc.
Best way to buy Water Purifiers in India
The best way to buy Water Purifiers in India is to first look at all models of Water Purifiers available online at the leading online Retailers in India. For example on the online webpage of All Water Purifiers available in India on Amazon.in, you will find the full range of Indian Water Purifiers complete with their best discounted price and full specifications. This is great information, and you can decide on which model of water purifier to buy. With the model of water purifier you want to buy finalised, you can go to local shops to try and find the model of water purifier you have chosen and see if you can get at similar price of that at Amazon.in. In most cases the price from Amazon will be cheaper, because they buy in bulk from the manufacturers direct and they sell huge volumes because they are the world's largest and most trusted online retailer. If you buy from Amazon, they will arrange to have the water purifier installed in your house, usually free of charge.
Warranty and other facilities offered through Amazon are usually better than what you can get from local agents of water purifiers.
All pages in our website www.AchaWater.com
Below are links to all the pages on this website and we hope you will make full use of all the great information about Indian Water Purifiers provided here.