Reverse osmosis (RO) is a filtration method that removes many types of large molecules and ions from solutions by applying pressure to the solution when it is on one side of a selective membrane. The result is that the solute is retained on the pressurized side of the membrane and the pure solvent is allowed to pass to the other side. To be "selective," this membrane should not allow large molecules or ions through the pores (holes), but should allow smaller components of the solution (such as the solvent) to pass freely.

Study finds water softener does not provide benefits to children with eczema

Studi first of its kind in the world - involving 336 children aged between six months and 16 years - has shown that water softener installed for three months did not bring additional assistance to people with eczema.

Up to one-fifth of all children of school age have eczema, along with about one in 12 of the adult population. Anecdotal reports from patients have suggested that hard water can aggravate atopic eczema. Population surveys also suggest a possible link between the prevalence of atopic eczema and degree of water hardness.

It is expected that water softeners will provide a simple but effective for many children who suffer from this condition is itchy and uncomfortable. However, the trial - softened Water Eczema Trial (SWET) - conducted by The University of Nottingham and published today Tuesday, February 15, 2011 in the journal PLoS Medicine shows there is no objective difference in outcome between children whose homes are equipped with water softener and those without .

Independent trial run by a team of clinical experts and trial at the Center for Evidence Based Dermatology. Working with experts from the water industry, and funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) program. A full report on the trial results will also be announced on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 as part of the Health Technology Assessment journal.

This study recruited children and families living in hard water areas in Nottingham, Cambridge, London, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Leicester and Lincoln.

Hywel Williams, Foundation Professor of Epidemiology and Skin-Head of Inquiry, said: "Although the results were disappointing in terms of future treatment options for children with eczema, the results of this research is very clear, good water softening and improved the same control group in the study when eczema measured objectively. Nevertheless, some parents still believe that water softeners help in eczema, and it is important to realize that the other benefits of home water softening may be important for the family too. "

The children suffer from moderate to severe atopic eczema to take part in the experiment, pragmatic observer-blind 12 weeks. Participants were divided randomly by computer into two groups - those whose families have a water softener installed and they are not. Those who do not have a water softener and then given a softener to try at the end of the study.

The results surprised even the experts. Professor Williams said: "Our research has shown that eczema is more common among primary school children living in hard water areas in the UK compared with children who live in soft water areas Nobody really knows why, but could be because hard water contains. high levels of calcium and magnesium, leading to increased use of soaps which can act as skin irritation We would be happier if we have demonstrated clear benefits of water softeners using .. But it did not happen, and we must face the truth. "

The severity of this disease can vary. In the mild form of eczema, dry skin, red and itchy, while in more severe forms the skin can become broken, raw and bleeding - cause sleep loss and poor quality of life. Eczema is not contagious and with treatment the inflammation of eczema can be reduced, although the skin will always be sensitive to flare-ups and need extra care and protection against drought.

The water softener industry (through their representative bodies, the UK Water Treatment Association) - is closely involved in providing expertise in technical aspects of water softening during the trial and a generic water softener has been specially produced for research. The industry has met the cost of producing and installing water softener units. However, research findings are independent of industry influence.

Tony Frost, Director of the British Engineering Water Treatment Association, said: .. "We are proud to have been associated with, and contribute to this trial We were very impressed with the professionalism and expertise of a team of University of Nottingham under Professor Williams The conclusion from this experiment is sound and clear but UKWTA certainly disappointed with the results of conventional, water softener was installed to prevent scale in water heating systems,. and deposit droppings in the sink and sanitary-ware, but over the years, we have received, and continue to receive, a report from the buyer that the water softener eczema family members have improved since the installation. At the end of the trial period each participant, they were given the option to buy a softener cost price; hope that it will not be significant uptake, but 66 percent of home-owners choose to buy. This is surprising bearing in mind the spread of high socio-economic population of the courts. comments that do not requested from the participants hearing on purchases ranging from "it does not affect our child's eczema, but we love the other benefits of soft water" to "our children eczema completely cured - it has changed our lives"


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