Looking for a bulk source of 2% iodine.

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Looking for a bulk source of 2% tincture of iodine. Ya know for treating water. This is the same solution you put on cuts and such but the small bottles at the pharmacy are reallllllly expensive.

I found bulk 1.2% iodine for use in cleaning beer and wine making equipment. I use it for cleaning the water storage drums every 3 months.

Both FEMA and Red Cross suggest using 2% tincture of iodine in preparing water for consumption. Yes, I know about bleach but bleach will not kill the range of nasties that iodine will.

Any and all comments will be greatly appreciated.

Lay low, keep quite, make preparations, smile a lot, and please do something to help yourself so others will not have to.



-- yada (yada@yada.com), October 06, 1998


I would think that 1.67 drops of 1.2% iodine would give you the same effect as 1 drop of 2% iodine in a barrel of water.

-- Dan Hunt (dhunt@hostscorp.com), October 06, 1998.

There ya go . . . . doin the math again takin an stealin Bob Cook's thunder. the only problem is that, unless you are willing to work in minims (yes it is a fluid measure. . . in medicine) you have a real problem getting the 2/3 drop to drop.


-- Chuck a Night Driver (rienzoo@en.com), October 07, 1998.

You might be interested in the Canadian Ministry of Health's water treatment recommendations, especially in regard to iodine (below). From what I've read, if you're storing regular tap water long term there shouldn't be any problem using bleach if the water is kept out of sunlight. I understand that the initial bleach treatment kills any organisms in the water and container), hence new ones can't grow unless sunlight is introduced.

Some people are relying on aerobic (stabilized) oxygen but in interminable searches of the Web I've unearthed no reliable studies supporting its efficacy. (See also thread, this forum, re Aerobic 07 water treatment product.) I remember someone writing that the Red Cross recommends or uses Katadyn water filters; you might want to track that down.

=================================== Canadian Government's Ministry of Health =================================== http://www.hlth.gov.bc.ca/hlthfile/hfile49b.html

Ministry of Health, Health File #49b, August, 1997

Why should I disinfect my drinking water?

Drinking water is disinfected to kill disease-causing micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses and parasites) which may be in it.

Many different diseases are spread by drinking water contaminated by micro-organisms, including Campylobacter, cholera, amoebic dysentery, beaver fever (Giardia) [Note: giardia is spread by any four-legged animal] and Cryptosporidia. These organisms usually get into drinking water supplies when source waters (i.e.. lakes, streams) or community water supply pipes or storage reservoirs are contaminated by animal wastes or human sewage.

In general, surface waters such as streams and lakes are more likely to contain disease-causing organisms than groundwater. Deep wells are safer than shallow wells. In fact, shallow dug wells are often as contaminated as lakes or streams.

When should I disinfect my drinking water?

You should disinfect your drinking water if:

your community has been issued a boil water advisory;

you are using water directly from a stream, lake or shallow well;

lab tests of your water show that it contains "fecal coliforms";

an earthquake or other disaster has disrupted your community water supply;

you are traveling in an area where water is not well treated (third world countries); or

you have a weakened immune system (in which case you should disinfect all of your drinking water).

Disinfecting small quantities of water


Boiling is the best way to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites. A full boil for at least two minutes is recommended. At elevations over 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) you should boil water for at least three minutes to disinfect it.

NOTE: This is not appropriate for water that is obviously heavily polluted, or subject to chemical contamination.

To remove the flat taste of boiled water, leave the boiled water in a clean covered container for a few hours or pour the cooled boiled water back and forth from one clean container to another.

Disinfection using chemical methods:

Unscented household bleach (5% chlorine) can sometimes be a good disinfectant - e.g. when the water is not heavily polluted, or when beaver fever or cryptosporidiosis are not a concern.

Disinfection using bleach works best with warm water. Add 1 drop (0.05 mL) of bleach to 1 Litre of water, shake and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before drinking.

Double the amount of bleach for cloudy water, or for cooler water.

 A slight chlorine odour should still be noticeable at the end of the 30 minute waiting period if you have added enough bleach.

The disinfection action of bleach depends as much on the waiting time after mixing as to the amount used. The longer the water is left to stand after adding bleach, the more effective the disinfection process will be.

NOTE: Bleach does not work well in killing off beaver fever (Giardia) or Cryptosporidium parasites. The amount of bleach needed to kill these parasites makes the water almost impossible to drink. If beaver fever or Cryptosporidium are in your water, boiling is the best way to ensure safe drinking water.

Chlorine Tablets:

Follow the manufacturers' directions.


Whenever possible use warm water (20 0C) and let stand a minimum of 20 minutes after mixing and before drinking.

For cold water (5 - 150C) increase the waiting time after mixing to 40 minutes.

If you are using 2% tincture of iodine, use 10 drops (0.5 mL) for every one litre of water.

With iodine tablets, follow the manufacturer's directions.


Pregnant women should not use iodine drops to purify water as it may have an effect on the fetus.

Iodine should not be used to disinfect water over long periods of time as prolonged use can cause thyroid problems. [Aha! So that's where I learned it!]

Disinfecting larger amounts of water in tanks or barrels

Always use clean containers which are designed for storage of food or water. You can use regular household bleach (usually about 5% chlorine) or commercial bleach products (usually 10% chlorine).

The table below shows how much regular household bleach to add to various size water containers to disinfect relatively clean water.

If you are treating water from a lake, stream or shallow well, use twice as much household (5%) bleach as indicated in the chart below and wait twice as long before drinking it because it is more likely to contain chlorine-resistant parasites from animal droppings. Let the water stand for at least an hour after adding the bleach before you start drinking it. If the water is colder than 100C or has a pH higher than 8, let the water stand for at least two hours before drinking.

[Note: if you go to the site you'll find a very nicely-done table, all neat and tidy.]

Gallons of water to disinfect (equivalent shown in parens), followed by amount of (5%) bleach to add.

1 gal. (4.5 litres), 2 drops (0.18 mL) 2-1/2 gal. (10 litres), 5 drops (0.4 mL) 5 gal. (23 litres), 11 drops (0.9 mL) 10 gal. (45 litres), 22 drops (1.8 mL) 22 gal. (100 litres), 3/4 teaspoon (4 mL) 45 gal. (205 litres), 1-1/2 teaspoons (8 mL) 50 gal. (230 litres), 1-3/4 teaspoons (9 mL) 100 gal. (450 litres), 3-1/2 teaspoons (18 mL) 220 gal. (1000 litres), 8 teaspoons (40 mL) 500 gal. (2200 litres), 6 tablespoons (90 mL) 1000 gal. (4550 litres), 6-1/2 ounces or 12 tablespoons (180 mL)

-- Aitch (jimp7@mindspring.com), October 07, 1998.

Try a lab-chemicals supplier. I don't know if you can buy 2% solution prepared; you can certainly buy 100% iodine and dissolve it yourself.

If you want it for sterilizing water: my reading suggests that for longterm use, hypochlorite bleach is safer. Iodine may be more effective, but it also accumulates in your body and most sources advise not to use it for more than a month (and not at all if you are pregnant!) Also bleach is really cheap and on sale in every supermarket, and should you spill some it doesn't have the same airborne corrosive effects on iron that iodine does.

-- Nigel Arnot (nra@maxwell.ph.kcl.ac.uk), October 07, 1998.

Well, Chuck, since the dose of iodine if you are using 2% tincture of iodine, is to use 10 drops (0.5 mL) for every one litre of water, then if you have a 55 gallon drum of water, you would need 55 / 1.056 x 10 / 1.2 x 2 drops of 1.2% iodine, which is 868.05554 drops. I leave it as a class exercise to determine how to get the .0554 drop in the barrel. Of course one could instead dump in 5 / 10000 x 55 / 1.2 x 2 x 128 ounces 1.2% iodine, which is 5.867 ounces. On second thought, let's stick with bleach. The chlorine in the bleach would dissipate into the air after a while if left open, leaving the water tasting a little better. Seems to me the iodine and iodine taste would stay in there.

-- Dan Hunt (dhunt@hostscorp.com), October 07, 1998.

Farm supply stores are chock full of all kinds of neat things gallons of iodine, alcohol etc. etc since horses and cows are a tad larger than people.

Probably worth having the iodine even if not for water for chesap first aid.


-- Erica Calkins (Jhnck1776@aol.com), October 09, 1998.

Just as a minor aside here - in any case of generalized nuclear comtamination (as opposed to contamination with a specific, known isotope) one of the first things done is issue iodine supplements to the affected population to prevent radio iodine from settling in the thyroid gland.

-- Paul Davis (davsip1953@yahoo.com), October 12, 1998.

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