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Tuesday, March 28, 2017
For much of human history, populations have periodically been culled ruthlessly by epidemics of cholera. One of the worst swear words in Polish used to be ‘kolera’. This is a devastating disease that can kill in literally hours if untreated, and it is now making a resurgence throughout the world after some years of relative quiescence.

What Is Cholera?
Cholera is a disease of the large intestine caused by a bacterium, Vibrio cholera. It is passed along by food or water that has been contaminated by infected fecal matter. When one is infected with the bacterium, within hours extreme diarrhea can begin. Perhaps only 5% of those who pick up the ‘cholera bug’ become extremely ill, but without treatment death can occur quickly from dehydration.
While cholera is basically unknown in the North America and Western Europe, it is still endemic in many parts of the undeveloped world. India, parts of Africa, Hispaniola, and some countries in Southeast Asia all record cases of cholera each year. In fact, over half a million cases of cholera were reported in 2011, accompanied by thousands of deaths.

Cholera also became an issue in South America when Peru experienced an outbreak back in 1991, and underscored the lack of sanitation in countries fairly close to home. Cholera spread from Peru to nearly every country in South America, with over 1 million people affected and resulting in almost 10,000 deaths.

Although cholera is a horrific disease, it is quite easy to treat, and usually oral rehydration is all that is needed to cure the patient. Intravenous rehydration may be necessary in some cases and antibiotics can be used as a backup.

Safe Travelling in the Third World
  • Those travelling to less developed countries must take steps to protect themselves from cholera. Even if there are no reported cases where you are heading, it’s only intelligent to bring along the means of assuring that you will have safe water to drink. Iodine or chlorine tablets or crystals will kill cholera in drinking water. Follow the instructions to the letter that are included with the tablets. Because iodine can leave a disagreeable taste to the water, use tablets designed specifically to remove the flavor after the water has been treated
  • Using a water filter should be considered a necessity when travelling in an underdeveloped nation. Make sure that the filter is designed to remove bacteria, and use filtered water for brushing your teeth and washing your face and hands. Be sure that your international medical insurance also has a provision to allow you to be evacuated should you become ill – the medical facilities in Third World countries are generally substandard.

by: Chris Tracey

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rainshow'r shower filters were among the first to address the burning need for efficient chlorine removal from bathing water. Chlorine, left unfiltered, has a harsh effect on your hair, dries and irritates your skin, and is absorbed harmfully into your bloodstream as you inhale the vapor in your shower, which contains clouds of released chlorine. The filters offered by this company generate a slight electric current in the stream which is enough to combine the chlorine with calcium and thus turn it into chloride, the molecules of which are too big to penetrate your skin

 The choice of Rainshow'r shower filters is fairly straightforward and simple. There is one main model – the Rainshow'r CQ-1000 – which comes in two variants. Both are wall-mounted shower heads with a cylindrical inline filter casing containing a replaceable filter cartridge. One version has a sleek, conical designer shower head attached, while the other has a plastic massaging shower head mounted to it.       

This shower head removes at least 90% of the free chlorine in your water, and has the capacity to continue filtering from 6 to 9 months for a typical  family of around four people. Exact length depends on how much particulate matter is in your water.    

The firm also produces the Rainshow'r Crystal Ball 3000 Bath Filter, a chlorine reducing bath ball for those who prefer soaking in a tub to showering. The bath ball is either hung in the stream underneath the faucet, or pulled through the water by the user, or both, enabling the KDF filaments inside to convert the chlorine to chloride.

How Rainshow'r shower filters work

Like other shower filter companies, Rainshow'r does not use carbon for its filters, which is a completely inadequate form of media for removing chlorine from the water. In fact, at the hot water temperatures people use in their showers, carbon filters tend to “dump” any contaminants they contain back into the water stream, making the water dirtier. Carbon filters are excellent for cleaning drinking water – which is put through the filter cold or cool – but do not work for chlorine. In fact, if you see a carbon only shower filter, it is recommended that you avoid it.       

Rainshow'r shower filters feature their own proprietary media, just as with Sprite filters – though Rainshow'r takes their own unique approach. Rainshow'r filters are based around a cartridge that contains a mix of atomized brass (KDF) granules, KDF filaments, and ground quartz, which provides a slight but very helpful piezoelectric current.      

 This firm was the pioneer that introduced KDF elements to the shower filtration world in the first place, and has worked to refine the media since. KDF is extremely dense, unlike carbon, and this density allows a large amount of highly effective media to be squeezed into a small space. Made of 50% zinc and 50% copper, which react with one another, these filters create an electric current. This modifies the chlorine so that it combines with calcium in the water to become harmless chloride.  

 The presence of quartz crystal enhances the electric field and makes the conversion of chlorine to chloride more efficient. Debris in the system accumulates in the filter and can block the electric current – so if there is a lot of silt in your water, the filter will give out in perhaps six or seven months, while if your water is fairly clean, Rainshow'r shower filters should serve you for up to 9 months before the cartridge needs to be changed. 

 Using subtle electrical fields rather than physical filtering to defeat chlorine in your water, Rainshow'r shower filters stand among the foremost of today's high tech filters – and will give you the supple, velvety skin and healthy hair that were denied you by unfiltered chlorine.

by: Chris Tracey

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