Alkaline Water and Chem1 Claims
If you’ve researched alkaline water, ionized water or water ionizers, no doubt you have come across Stephen K. Lower’s Chem1 website and the retired chemist’s conclusions about alkaline ionized water.
This article will give you a better understanding of how Chem1’s claims and conclusions can be so far afield from most everything else you will find on this subject.
The answer can be found in the “bottom line” portion of S.K. Lowers webpage – ironically located near the very top of the actual webpage itself – where he references “pure water.”
All of Lower’s statements about a the inability of water ionizers to create alkaline and acidic water are based on using “pure water” – which he identifies as water that contains no ion (mineral) content. This is something that anyone in the water ionizer industry will agree with – your source water must have sufficient mineral content for proper water ionization.
In his “snake oil on tap” article it was necessary for Lower to specify “pure water” in order to be accurate and correct in the conclusions he points out. What you don’t see referenced is the process required to achieve the “pure water” that he somehow assumes is used with water ionizers. Very few households in the United States have what would be considered “pure water.” Water ionizers are able to effectively produce alkaline ionized water because of the existing mineral content of the water coming from the tap in their homes.
Pure water, meaning water that has been stripped of minerals, dissolved solids and other elements, is not something that flows from the tap of a household. Achieving “pure water” requires the process of reverse osmosis or distillation. Though concerns about water quality have increased the use of in-home water filters, few households have what would be considered, by Lower’s definition, “pure water.”
Throughout most of the United States, the mineral and dissolved solids content of water available in homes is more than sufficient for effective water ionization. In fact, large segments of the U.S. population live in what are considered “hard water” areas – meaning high levels of minerals (ions) in the water. It’s what has kept the “water softening” industry in business.
For homes that are using a reverse osmosis system or distilled water as their main drinking water supply, special filter cartridges are available to add minerals to the water prior to ionization. The same “mineral cartridge” solutions work in those parts of the country where source water is naturally mineral deficient.
These mineral cartridges are being used successfully to address issues in household with low mineral content in their water or those using water from a reverse osmosis system. Any knowledgeable water ionizer dealer will have this sort of mineral filter available for sale to ensure their customers with low source water mineral content are able to produce alkaline ionized water.
Lower’s assertion that water ionizers do not work is based on using “pure water,” not the water that actually comes from the tap in most homes – not water that has had mineral content replenished with a specialized alkaline mineral filter. If you do happen to have “pure water” coming from the tap in your home, you will be able to produce alkaline ionized water using a good quality water ionizer simply by adding an inline mineral filter.
Other Lower Warnings
Lower’s alkaline water debunk page does make mention of companies using sodium for production of ionized water. He goes on to state – correctly – that by adding sodium to the water prior to electrolysis you are producing hypochlorous acid – which is the equivalent of bleach.
When sodium is dissolved in water and passed through an electrolysis chamber, chlorine molecules are produced. This type of water is being used effectively in the agriculture and sanitation industries for this reason. This type of water is NOT used for drinking.
Water ionizer companies that have any sort of filter or solution uses or contains primarily sodium advise specifically that water produced using these should not be consumed. This water is designated for external use only and should not be used for drinking or cooking. No responsible water ionizer dealer will promote the use of sodium additives for production of alkaline ionized water for drinking. Minerals like calcium and magnesium are used to boost production of alkaline ionized water.
Understanding Lower’s Position
For the water ionizer industry-wise, it is not difficult to understand how Lower could land so far off-base with his conclusions. As he correctly states early in his article, many MLM representatives are unleashed on their communities “over-enthused” and under-informed about alkaline ionized water, how it is produced and how it can potentially benefit an individual’s health.
Over-simplifications like “drinking alkaline water makes the body more alkaline” and “alkaline water reduces acids in the body” abound in the industry. Lower is also correct in his statement that some MLM companies allow their independent and enthusiastic distributors make claims and perpetuate information that the company itself would never make for legal reasons.
No doubt a well-intentioned friend or associate approached Lower with an “exciting business opportunity” touting facts about alkaline water that had been passed down through several other overly-enthusiastic yet misinformed independent distributors. Obviously very stimulating for the “debunking-inclined” scientific mind of Stephen K. Lower.
What remains a mystery is why Lower has refused to reevaluate or adjust his article to reflect the true ability of water ionizers in most household settings – which have sufficient mineral content for effective ionization. He has also either refused offers or failed to reply to offers made by water ionizer companies to send him a unit at no charge so that he could test one (or more) of these machines himself.
If you have read Lower’s “alkaline water snake oil” article and been left with questions or concerns about water ionizers’ ability to produce alkaline ionized water, take a second look. You will notice that he consistently states that “pure water” – which he defines as water without ions (minerals) – has insufficient mineral content to be “ionized” and therefore the whole thing is a scam.
You will also notice contradictions – first that water ionizers don’t work, then saying that they do work when you add minerals – he notes the use of sodium as an example – and accepts that water ionization is actually possible.
Understand that water ionizer companies advocate the use of minerals like calcium and magnesium in situations where the source water mineral content is insufficient. No knowledgeable water ionizer dealer will make the claim that a water ionizer can ionize water that has been purified to the point of being free of mineral content. No knowledgeable or reputable water ionizer dealer will ever recommend the use of sodium for producing alkaline ionized water for drinking by ANY water ionizer company.
The bottom line here: Water ionizers can effectively produce alkaline ionized water using the existing tap water in most households. For households with mineral deficient water, alkaline ionized water can be produced by adding an appropriate mineral pre-filter.
Here are a couple of articles that will help you understand the facts of how alkaline water works in the body: