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Mineral sanitizers for the swimming pool and spa use minerals, metals, or elements derived from the natural environment to produce water quality benefits that would otherwise be produced by harsh or synthetic chemicals.
Companies are not allowed to sell a mineral sanitizer in the United States unless it has been registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Currently two mineral sanitizers are registered with the EPA: one is a silver salt with a controlled release mechanism which is applied to calcium carbonate granules that help neutralize pH; the other uses a colloidal form of silver released into water from ceramic beads.
Mineral technology takes advantage of the cleansing and filtering qualities of commonly occurring substances. Silver and copper are well-known oligodynamic substances that are effective in destroying pathogens. Silver has been shown to be effective against harmful bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Copper is widely used as an algicide. Alumina, derived from aluminates, filters detrimental materials at the molecular level, and can be used to control the delivery rate of desirable metals such as copper. Working through the pool or spa filtration system, mineral sanitizers use combinations of these minerals to inhibit algae growth and eliminate contaminants.
Unlike chlorine or bromine, metals and minerals do not evaporate, and do not degrade. Minerals can make the water noticeably softer, and by replacing harsh chemicals in the water they lower the potential for red-eye, dry skin and foul odors.