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Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:43 pm
by Bagheera
Hi all,

Merry Sunday!

Would someone - anyone - be so kind as to debunk this for me?:

https://www.redpostequestrian.co.uk/hor ... K3EALw_wcB

"Using Tourmaline infused fabrics to release negative ions, causing a change in the water in your horse’s body. This allows increased blood flow and circulation in key areas and brings increased levels of oxygen to muscles to help ensure toxins are cleared from your horse’s body."

My girlfriend's about to buy one of these for her horse - I've argued against it, but...apparently horses operate under different biological-physical laws, than humans do...and I guess it wouldn't do any harm...

:lol:

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:28 am
by Gfamily
Bagheera wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:43 pm
Hi all,

Merry Sunday!

Would someone - anyone - be so kind as to debunk this for me?:

https://www.redpostequestrian.co.uk/hor ... K3EALw_wcB

"Using Tourmaline infused fabrics to release negative ions, causing a change in the water in your horse’s body. This allows increased blood flow and circulation in key areas and brings increased levels of oxygen to muscles to help ensure toxins are cleared from your horse’s body."

My girlfriend's about to buy one of these for her horse - I've argued against it, but...apparently horses operate under different biological-physical laws, than humans do...and I guess it wouldn't do any harm...

:lol:
Fortunately, they're happy to answer questions about the product, so I've asked for their evidence for the claims.
I'm sure they'll get back to me tomorrow.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 4:12 am
by basementer
Heh. This is why homoeopathic remedies are effective on pets: the animal is completely unaffected, but the owner swallows the placebo.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:54 am
by Bagheera
GFamily I wouldn't be surprised if they got back to you this very afternoon - with peer-reviewed studies published in high-impact horse journals ;)

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:23 pm
by Tessa K
There are a number of great features that this rug offers:

Increases circulation
Stimulates metabolism
Increases oxygen delivery to cells and tissue
Strengthen immune system
Restores pH balance
Reduces blood pressure
Remove toxins from the body

The inner lining is coated with Tourmaline which is a naturally occurring crystal that releases an electric charge which converts the surrounding air molecules to negative ions, which are essential for your horse’s body to balance the positive ions to absorb every day chemicals.
Do crystals release a negative charge?
Does this charge convert the surrounding air molecules to negative ions?
How do these ions get into the horse's body?
Do they change the water in the horse's body and in what way?
What is the mechanism by which they increase blood flow and circulation in key areas and bring increased levels of oxygen to muscles?
What toxins do they clear from the body?
How do they stimulate the metabolism?
How do they strengthen the immune system?
How do they reduce the pH balance and why does this need reducing?
How do they reduce blood pressure?

And other questions. The first two could be answered by an Actual Scientist, which I am not. I've emailed them to ask the other questions but don't hold out great hope for a reply.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:03 pm
by Bagheera
Tessa :lol:

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:08 pm
by Bagheera
I dare say even an Actual Scientist would struggle to de-tangle this utter bird's nest of compounded woo without resorting to a frustrated shrug and simply saying, "Because science."

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:17 am
by Tessa K
Bagheera wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:08 pm
I dare say even an Actual Scientist would struggle to de-tangle this utter bird's nest of compounded woo without resorting to a frustrated shrug and simply saying, "Because science."
It was more about how crystals work that I was looking for answers, whether they do give off electrical charges, for example. Not whether they cleanse your chakra.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:31 am
by shpalman
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:17 am
Bagheera wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:08 pm
I dare say even an Actual Scientist would struggle to de-tangle this utter bird's nest of compounded woo without resorting to a frustrated shrug and simply saying, "Because science."
It was more about how crystals work that I was looking for answers, whether they do give off electrical charges, for example. Not whether they cleanse your chakra.
Nothing can continuously "give off" electrical charges - at some point it's going to run out of them.

Hot metals* do indeed give off electrical charge by a process called "thermionic emission", which means "giving off electrical charge because of heat". But basically the heat allows electrons to "boil" out of the metal. What happens then, though, it that the metal is missing some of its electrons so is net positively charged, so the cloud of electrons floating near the metal ("space charge") is attracted to that and doesn't want to wander off. In order to do anything with this you usually apply a positive potential to some other electrode ("anode") while supplying more electrons to the hot electrode ("cathode") oh and the whole thing needs to be in vacuum. This is how valves ("vacuum tubes") work.

(Some crystals, with their surfaces prepared in the right way, may indeed have a negative electron affinity which isn't the same as a negative work function [the work function is how much energy is needed to get an electron out] but still means it's easier to get electrons out.)

On the other hand, rub a glass or amber rod with a cloth made of synthetic material.

(* - usually, in applications like old TV screens or whatever in which this process would be exploited to give the beam of electrons which would then hit the phosphors on the inside of the glass tube, the metal would be coated with a substance which doesn't hang on to its electrons so tightly.)

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:35 am
by Gfamily
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:17 am
Bagheera wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:08 pm
I dare say even an Actual Scientist would struggle to de-tangle this utter bird's nest of compounded woo without resorting to a frustrated shrug and simply saying, "Because science."
It was more about how crystals work that I was looking for answers, whether they do give off electrical charges, for example. Not whether they cleanse your chakra.
Piezo electric crystals can give off a charge when physically stressed - and Tourmaline (which demonstrates this effect) is mentioned as being included in the structure of the blankets.
BUT - whether a blanket draped over the back of a horse would stress the crystals enough to have an effect is another matter.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:39 am
by shpalman
Gfamily wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:35 am
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:17 am
Bagheera wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:08 pm
I dare say even an Actual Scientist would struggle to de-tangle this utter bird's nest of compounded woo without resorting to a frustrated shrug and simply saying, "Because science."
It was more about how crystals work that I was looking for answers, whether they do give off electrical charges, for example. Not whether they cleanse your chakra.
Piezo electric crystals can give off a charge when physically stressed - and Tourmaline (which demonstrates this effect) is mentioned as being included in the structure of the blankets.
BUT - whether a blanket draped over the back of a horse would stress the crystals enough to have an effect is another matter.
They don't "give off charge" they create an electric field.

An "electret" is a material with a permament electric (dipole) field, the electrical equivalent of a magnet.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:26 pm
by Pishwish
Gfamily wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:35 am
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:17 am
Bagheera wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:08 pm
I dare say even an Actual Scientist would struggle to de-tangle this utter bird's nest of compounded woo without resorting to a frustrated shrug and simply saying, "Because science."
It was more about how crystals work that I was looking for answers, whether they do give off electrical charges, for example. Not whether they cleanse your chakra.
Piezo electric crystals can give off a charge when physically stressed - and Tourmaline (which demonstrates this effect) is mentioned as being included in the structure of the blankets.
BUT - whether a blanket draped over the back of a horse would stress the crystals enough to have an effect is another matter.

Tourmaline is pyroelectric, so the blanket will presumably give gentle zaps to hot horses.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:44 am
by Tessa K
This is the reply I got from the horse blanket company. Which tells me precisely nothing.
Thank you for contacting us. The inner fabric is infused with tourmaline powder which releases an electric charge, this electric charge converts air molecules to negative ions. These negative ions are absorbed into your horse’s bloodstream supporting circulation and blood flow to muscles. We have also forwarded your email to the manufacturer to see if they can answer your questions in more detail - as soon as we have a response, we will be in contact.
How do air molecules or ions get into the blood stream?

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:14 am
by Bagheera
Tessa, I am genuinely surprised that they even replied - it's clear that they don't shy away from a scientific debate! But we needn't wait for the manufacturer's more detailed answer, because I have found it here:

https://www.iplikator.eu/en/iplicator-tourmaline

It turns out, infrared energy is how blood flow is increased:

----- ----- -----
Infrared eradiation

The tourmaline iplicator, which based on tourmaline material, is an acupressure instrument that is characterized by such exceptional features as 90.4% long-wavelength infrared radiation and negatively charged ions of 682 ions/cc, antibacterial and deodorant effects: 98% and 87% respectively, etc. At the contact with the human body due to the human heat and liquids, it occurs a process of separation of infrared rays and negative ions. There is an effect on blood, vessels, muscle tissue and nerve endings. Infrared rays penetrate the human’s body to 40 –50 mm and create a resonance effect in the molecules of tissues and body fluids, in the process of which capillary vessels expand and the blood flow rate increases, so the body oxygen content and the activated protein increase.
----- ----- -----

I know it's not yet April Fools, but...it feels like April Fools...ha

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:59 pm
by nekomatic
So basically they’re claiming that if you put this blanket on your horse the horse will get warmer.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:16 pm
by Gfamily
nekomatic wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:59 pm
So basically they’re claiming that if you put this blanket on your horse the horse will get warmer.
Hard to tell - they only mention humans in the 'ahem' - evidence.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:48 pm
by rockdoctor
Tell her that Tourmaline contains a lot of Boron, which is toxic to horses. Tell her to report the company to the RSPCA.
That should get everyone nicely tangled up

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:54 am
by bob sterman
I'd recommend she gets an iconic horse blanket instead...

Image

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:32 am
by bmforre
Tessa K wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:44 am
How do air molecules or ions get into the blood stream?
Through breathing:
Air drawn into lungs where blood interacts with air.
See f.ex: How do lungs work?

Did you never learn about this in school? Not blaming you but certainly blaming schools keeping mum about such important basics.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:35 am
by Tessa K
bmforre wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:32 am
Tessa K wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:44 am
How do air molecules or ions get into the blood stream?
Through breathing:
Air drawn into lungs where blood interacts with air.
See f.ex: How do lungs work?

Did you never learn about this in school? Not blaming you but certainly blaming schools keeping mum about such important basics.
I meant from the blanket. Does the horse have to put the blanket over its head or can horses breath through their skin?

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:53 am
by bmforre
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:35 am
... Does the horse have to put the blanket over its head or can horses breath through their skin?
Horses cannot breathe significantly through their skin, no more than we humans can.

Skin is thick and protective. Alveoli are " small air-containing compartments of the lungs in which the bronchioles terminate and from which respiratory gases are exchanged with the pulmonary capillaries." With thin permeable walls.

Thin permeable vs. thick protective. Opposite propertis for opposite purposes.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:21 am
by Tessa K
bmforre wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:53 am
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:35 am
... Does the horse have to put the blanket over its head or can horses breath through their skin?
Horses cannot breathe significantly through their skin, no more than we humans can.

Skin is thick and protective. Alveoli are " small air-containing compartments of the lungs in which the bronchioles terminate and from which respiratory gases are exchanged with the pulmonary capillaries." With thin permeable walls.

Thin permeable vs. thick protective. Opposite propertis for opposite purposes.
I can't tell if you're being serious. I do know all this.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:30 am
by Bagheera
Gfamily wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:16 pm
nekomatic wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:59 pm
So basically they’re claiming that if you put this blanket on your horse the horse will get warmer.
Hard to tell - they only mention humans in the 'ahem' - evidence.
I believe that "humans" was a typo here - it's clear they had intended to write "Houyhnhnms" - the race of intelligent horses documented so well in Gulliver's Travels.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:20 pm
by bmforre
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:21 am
I can't tell if you're being serious. I do know all this.
That is a problem with debunking bad salesstuff like 'ionic horse blankets': Comparing such propositions to facts make them obviously conflict with what sensible people know.

The starting idea that tourmaline or some other substance could emit significant electric charge and continue doing so is basically wrong because the altered charge distribution would cause voltage differences that stop and reverse the emission. On large scales lightning strikes re-establish equilibrium.

I warmly support the geochemical argument from Rockdoctor: Tourmaline contains far too much boron to be safe for horses. Get Animal Health and Safety on the case.

Re: Ionic horse blankets - kindly debunk?

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:24 am
by Millennie Al
bmforre wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:20 pm
The starting idea that tourmaline or some other substance could emit significant electric charge and continue doing so is basically wrong because the altered charge distribution would cause voltage differences that stop and reverse the emission.
It can via the triboelectric effect. The blanket rubbing against the horse's hair can generate a charge, which may then result in a tiny spark - as you may have experienced yourself many times. Shocking, isn't it?