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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2012, Article ID 258968, 13 pages
Clinical Study

Objective Assessment of an Ionic Footbath (IonCleanse): Testing Its Ability to Remove Potentially Toxic Elements from the Body

1Department of Research & Clinical Epidemiology, The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, 1255 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, ON, Canada M2K 1E2
2Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, 144 College Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3M2
3Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, Box 201, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8L6

Received 15 July 2011; Accepted 29 August 2011

Academic Editor: Gerry Schwalfenberg

Copyright © 2012 Deborah A. Kennedy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ionic footbaths are often used in holistic health centres and spas to aid in detoxification; however, claims that these machines eliminate toxins from the body have not been rigorously evaluated. In this proof-of-principle study, we sought to measure the release of potentially toxic elements from ionic footbaths into distilled and tap water with and without feet. Water samples were collected and analyzed following 30-minute ionic footbath sessions without feet using both distilled (n=1) and tap water (n=6) and following four ionic footbaths using tap water (once/week for 4 weeks) in six healthy participants. Urine collection samples were analyzed at four points during the study. Hair samples were analyzed for element concentrations at baseline and study conclusion. Contrary to claims made for the machine, there does not appear to be any specific induction of toxic element release through the feet when running the machine according to specifications.