I ate my wafer...

1/11/2007

Water Quackery

*Edited to fix Manufacturer/model of ionizer, without the ionizer in hand when I wrote the original post, I confused the KYK Harmony with the Jupiter Melody.


So, a couple of days ago, I had several minutes to play with a Jupiter Melody Water Ionizer At the time, all I really knew was that the toaster sized machine was supposed to filter and change the ph level of tap water. At least at that point I assumed that there was the vague possiblity that the machine worked, perhaps by adding a acidic or basic compounds to the water. Anyway, here's how I quickly tested the machine with household items:

A. Set the machine to ph3, poured a glass of water, stuck my finger in the water, felt nothing, added backing soda to the glass of water without a reaction, then finally poured a second glass of water to drink. Absolutely no acidic taste whatsoever.

B. Set the machine to ph13, poured a glass of water, stuck my finger in the water, felt nothing, added vinegar to the glass of water without a reaction, then finally poured a second glass of water to drink. Absolutely no alkaline taste whatsoever.

After that impromptu 5 minute experiment, I was convinced that the machine was quackery, and that the manufacturers were more than likely risking regulatory action since the ph setting buttons on the machine had absolutely nothing to do with the water produced.

So, according to Google, the machine costs nearly $1100, and is complete and utter quackery. The amusing part is that quack pseudoscience devices involving water are experiencing increased popularity at the moment. There's everything from people that believe cancer should be treated with alkaline water, to the prill bead nuts that think that love powered pebbles can purify all the water on earth. It never ceases to amaze me how much money can be made with fake science and useless medical devices.


*Fun Google news item found in preparation of this post: Apparently even crappy municipal water gets traded for sexual favors in Arkansas.

6 Comments:

  • I read your post, and perhaps the machine you tested really did not work. There are high quality ones on the market. You may want to use pH paper to test the water. Otherwise, I suggest you do a bit more research about ionized alkaline water. Maybe you will become a master of at least one trade?
    Also, drinking water with a pH of 3 is really not very good for your body. Good luck.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:05 PM  

  • Drinking water of a pH of 3 is no worse for you than drinking very tart orage juice an infact is closer to neutral than lemon juice or cola. It wont hurt you nor is it terribly bad for your body (other than the possibility of heartburn)
    I am curious as to what research you would suggest regarding ionized alkaline water. Everything I have seen, that isn't part of some snake oil bull trying to sell an expensive machine, says that there are zero proven health benifits from drinking ionized alkaline water. Electrolysis or "ionizing" can not change the pH of pure water. I would like to understand your point better anon.

    By Blogger TheAmber, at 4:59 PM  

  • Most people forget the science they learn in high school about ten minutes after they take the final in Chemistry 101.

    (And why not? The vast majority of people won't need it for the rest of their lives.)

    You might want to explain why sticking your finger in base or acidic water is bad.

    I'd do it for you over at my blog, but I prefer to be lazy.

    James

    By Blogger James R. Rummel, at 8:11 PM  

  • Beware of hydric acid folks.

    People have been known to mistakenly consume it after getting the settings wrong on these machines.

    Seeing as how hydric acid is a common industrial solvent and is actually responsible for a huge number of workplace injuries, deaths, and lawsuits, you would do well to be careful around potential sources of it.

    By Blogger Porta's Cat, at 10:40 AM  

  • The reason i used my finger is that, well, I'm pretty familiar with what ph3 and ph 13 feel like. If the water had been changed significantly in ph, I already was standing next to the sink and could have easilly rinsed my hand.

    But, that doesn't mean that I use my hand, or anyone should use their hand as a general ph meter. Even with immediate rinsing, I've gotten nasty chemical burns from Nitric Acid, as well as from strong bases like NaOh. So, much like the mythbusters say, don't try this at home, I have years of experience...blah, blah.

    Now...this particular machine has very little, if any ph changing ability. I'll probably test it with ph strips too, just for my own amusement, but there's absolutely no way that it can generate ph3 liquids.

    By Blogger Bob, at 4:35 PM  

  • Yes, the pH output readings on the harmony are false, you can not get an accurate pH reading with flowing water, same for ORP readings. This is a comment from Jupiter Science/Royal Water, the oldest manufacturer of Water Ionizers:
    http://glowing-health.com/mb/your-questions/water-ionizer-faq/hydrotech-vs-jupiter-ionizers.html

    However, water ionization DOES WORK. Try it for yourself.

    This is my 7 part comprehensive response to the 'Snake Oil' and pseudo-science criticism that is commonly found on the the web by so called 'QuackBusters' and 'Scientists':
    http://glowing-health.com/mb/your-questions/alkaline-water-science-and-myths/snake-oil-part1-summary.html

    James

    By Blogger james99, at 1:22 PM  

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