Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

Microgravity and your drinking water

I recently saw this and was about to write about it. But dammit I was beaten to it by at least two people. Thanks for stealing my thunder guys (if there was any to start).

Well anyway, this silly company is trying to make the claim that their water is better because they sent up the electrolytes (salts) into space where they were exposed to microgravity. They of course make a few vague claims about what constitutes the superiority of their water.

  • Space2O™ is purified water with spaceflight enriched electrolytes to replenish and refresh your body.
  • The result is a one-of-a-kind purified H2O with exclusive spaceflown electrolytes that provide Space2O with an out-of-this world, refreshing taste
  • They also have an energy drink
Well they were pretty savvy on their site. They don't make a claim (they only strongly imply) that the space flight does anything to the electrolyte. They dont claim that the water is purified in space (its purified water with spaceflown electrolyte).

But there are three things I dont like about this. First off, how many studies must there be before people realize drinking bottled water is no better than tap water. Folks, stop wasting your money. Stop filling landfills with plastic bottles. Its true that filtering the tap water may make it taste better, but thats about it, no health benefits (unless you live in an area where the drinking water is not maintained...like in India or something).

The second part is that they imply that the space flight provides better taste, or makes the water more refreshing. Or affects the electrolytes at all. This is of course total nonsense. How about the initial multi-G the payload feels during launch? Does that affect it to?

If you want to expose your bottled water to weightlessness for an improved taste....drop the bottle. A falling object experiences the same microgravity that things in orbit feel.

Lastly are their claims of other nonsense. Thay say later that they are going to go through a phase II, which includes the follwoing activities

  • Exploit the current microgravity state-of-the-art knowledge base
    • Pharmaceutical products (quality, yield and cost improvements)
    • Nanomaterial bonding and formulations
    • Crystal growth
    • Plant yield and variability with a focus on food products
    • Biotechnology development and testing
  • Apply our existing Phase II business models to create specifically identified products that can effectively compete in their respective markets such as:
    • Antibiotics
    • Cancer treatment
    • Unique materials
    • Space flight-derived food products (only possible in space)

Really? spaceflight derived products are only possible in space? You know rooftop-derived products (tm) are only possible on rooftops, does that make them special too? Sneaker-derived products anyone? The activities they are promising are activities already under way at far greater expense than some small water company with a useless product is going to be able to afford. Basically they are pleading with you to buy their stuff becuase they are going to fix the world with all the money they will be rolling in.

BTW has anyone actually verified that there is a salt package in those rockets?

Its a cute gimmick. Im sure people will fall into your nonsense hype. That is why I write here.

The comments are Braving the Elements are pretty funny. Good for a laugh.

4 comments:

On 9/15/07, 10:13 AM , Anonymous said...

"Its true that filtering the tap water may make it taste better, but thats about it, no health benefits" - No health benefits? Pure water is essential to good health, if your water happens to be pure coming out of the tap then great but if you go down to your municipal water supplier and ask for what they are testing for and finding every day then you may change your mind. I live along lake Erie and thats where the tap water comes from here is s list of what they test for and find every day...
Cadmium Nov 8/06 <0.06 μg/l 0
Chromium Nov 8/06 <0.3 μg/l 0
Lead Nov 8/06 <0.02 μg/l 0
Mercury Nov 8/06 <0.02 μg/l 0
Selenium Nov 8/06 <3.0 μg/l 0
Sodium Nov 8/06 13.4 mg/l 0
Uranium Nov 8/06 0.14 μg/l 0
Fluoride Nov 8/06 0.12 mg/l 0
Nitrite Nov 8/06 <0.005 mg/l 0
Nitrate Nov 8/06 0.291 mg/l 0
Alachlor Nov 8/06 <0.11 μg/l 0
Aldicarb Nov 8/06 <0.30 μg/l 0
Aldrin + Dieldrin Nov 8/06 <0.067 μg/l 0
Atrazine + N-dealkylated metobolites Nov 8/06 <0.12 μg/l 0
Azinphos-methyl Nov 8/06 <0.21 μg/l 0
Bendiocarb Nov 8/06 <0.13 μg/l 0
Benzene Nov 8/06 <0.37 μg/l 0
Benzo(a)pyrene Nov 8/06 <0.004 μg/l 0
Bromoxynil Nov 8/06 <0.33 μg/l 0
Carbaryl Nov 8/06 <0.16 μg/l 0
Carbofuran Nov 8/06 <0.37 μg/l 0
Carbon Tetrachloride Nov 8/06 <0.41 μg/l 0
Chlordane (Total) Nov 8/06 <0.11 μg/l 0
Chlorpyrifos Nov 8/06 <0.18 μg/l 0
Cyanazine Nov 8/06 <0.18 μg/l 0
Diazinon Nov 8/06 <0.081 μg/l 0
Dicamba Nov 8/06 <0.20 μg/l 0
1,2-Dichlorobenzene Nov 8/06 <0.50 μg/l 0
1,4-Dichlorobenzene Nov 8/06 <0.21 μg/l 0
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) +
metabolites
Nov 8/06 <0.14 μg/l 0
1,2-Dichloroethane Nov 8/06 <0.43 μg/l 0
1,1-Dichloroethylene
(vinylidene chloride)
Nov 8/06 <0.41 μg/l 0
Dichloromethane
2-4 Dichlorophenol Nov 8/06 <0.15 μg/l 0
2,4-Dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D) Nov 8/06 <0.19 μg/l 0
Diclofop-methyl Nov 8/06 <0.40 μg/l 0
Dimethoate Nov 8/06 <0.12 μg/l 0
Dinoseb Nov 8/06 <0.36 μg/l 0
Diquat Nov 8/06 <1.0 μg/l 0
Diuron Nov 8/06 <0.087 μg/l 0
Glyphosate Nov 8/06 <6.0 μg/l 0
Heptachlor + Heptachlor Epoxide Nov 8/06 <0.11 μg/l 0
Lindane (Total) Nov 8/06 <0.056 μg/l 0
Malathion Nov 8/06 <0.091 μg/l 0
Methoxychlor Nov 8/06 <0.14 μg/l 0
Metolachlor Nov 8/06 <0.092 μg/l 0
Metribuzin Nov 8/06 <0.12 μg/l 0
Monochlorobenzene Nov 8/06 <0.58 μg/l 0
Paraquat Nov 8/06 <1.0 μg/l 0
Parathion Nov 8/06 <0.18 μg/l 0
Pentachlorophenol Nov 8/06 <0.15 μg/l 0
Phorate Nov 8/06 <0.11 μg/l 0
Picloram Nov 8/06 <0.25 μg/l 0
Polychlorinated Biphenyls(PCB) Nov 8/06 <0.04 μg/l 0
Prometryne Nov 8/06 <0.23 μg/l 0
Simazine Nov 8/06 <0.15 μg/l 0
THM 20.0 μg/l 0
Temephos Nov 8/06 <0.31 μg/l 0
Terbufos Nov 8/06 <0.12 μg/l 0
Tetrachloroethylene Nov 8/06 <0.45 μg/l 0
2,3,4,6-Tetrachlorophenol Nov 8/06 <0.14 μg/l 0
Triallate Nov 8/06 <0.10 μg/l 0
Trichloroethylene Nov 8/06 <0.38 μg/l 0
2,4,6-Trichlorophenol Nov 8/06 <0.25 μg/l 0
2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4,5-T) Nov 8/06 <0.22 μg/l 0
Trifluralin Nov 8/06 <0.12 μg/l 0
Vinyl Chloride Nov 8/06 <0.17 μg/l 0

So if you think filtering your water produces no health benefit then you already drank to much unfiltered water and its affecting your thinking....;)

 
On 9/15/07, 11:07 AM , Techskeptic said...

LOL... I guess I was trying to say that bottled water provides no more health benefits than municipal water. In fact most bottle water is in fact, filtered municipal water.

All those things you listed are in almost all of our water supplies and even our vegetables and air. The question is not whether or not they are there (arsenic, flourine, clhorine, cadmium, etc etc are all naturally occuring), the question is are they are safe levels.

Lets take cadmium for instance. You have got 60 nanograms per liter (at least that is what the notation looks like) is that bad? Well its within the range of naturally occurring concentrations...
http://www.cadmium.org/env_lev.html
and around 4 ug/L is a level where it gets unsafe.
http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/groundwater/pdfs/MPCA-Cadmium.pdf

So, no, that concentration is not really an issue. Forgive me if I dont go through that entire list. If there was something bad there, a warning would have been sent out to your community.

Municipal water goes through pretty rigorous testing and documentation, which is the reason that you have that data at all. Water supplies get flagged if concentrations rise to fast or too much.

Does filtration remove these minute traces of these chemicals? Well it depends on the filters adsorption activity (most filter use activated carbon which adsorb compounds rather than just relying on blocking up small holes), the age of the filter and how much filtration has gone on, and other things (like adsorption sites being taken up by some chemicals that may prevent other from being adsorbed).

In case you are wondering, yes, I use a filter. I think it tastes better and there are some pretty old pipes between the water supply and my building. I like to think that if anything does break loose or dissolve off, I can catch it.

The big point was, yes, water provides tons of health benefits, having minerals and electrolytes is certainly good for you. However, exposing those minerals and salts to microgravity is total nonsense.

Thanks for visiting!

 
On 9/15/07, 1:03 PM , Anonymous said...

I agree with you whole heartedly about the micro gravity issue, but would definitely not agree with you about "If there was something bad there, a warning would have been sent out to your community.
", one thing that we dont have information about is the long term effects of all these different chemicals being itroduced to our bodies on a daily basis. THM's are cancer causing and there are many other chemicals listed in there that are cancer causing. Now to say they are safe to drink on a continuous basis is not possible we do not have that information at our disposal. To put your trust in the government is to play russian roullette with your health. IMHO its pretty silly to believe that you can have all these chemicals floating around inside your body and say its ok, no matter if it is in very small quantities. We do not fully understand cancer and alot of other diseases, could it be possible that they may be brought on by all the chemicals we are ingesting? You would have to say it is certainly possible. Id rather err on the side of safe but thats just me....Nice chatting with ya!

 
On 9/15/07, 1:19 PM , Techskeptic said...

Well you are certainly welcome to your opinion and your reasons to err on the side of caution (as I do). Just remember, along with sanitation, huge leaps in medical science and other techical improvements in our society, safe drinking water is a major contributor to our current record breaking longevity.

Drink Well!