Chlorin is a highly efficient disinfectant, and it is added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria that the water or its transport pipes might contain. Б has been hailed as the savior against бand various other waterborne diseases, and rightfully so,Б says Steve Harrison, president of water filter maker Environmental Systems Distributing. БIts disinfectant qualitiesБhave allowed communities and whole cities to grow and prosper by providing disease-free tap water to homes and industry. Б
But Harrison says that all this disinfecting has not come without a price: Chlorine introduced into the water supply reacts with other naturally-occurring elements to form toxins called trihalomethanes (THMs), which eventually make their way into our bodies. THMs have been linked to a wide range of human health maladies ranging from asthma and eczema to bladder cancer and heart disease.
In addition, Dr. Peter Montague of the cites several studies linking moderate to heavy consumption of chlorinated tap water by pregnant women with higher miscarriage and birth defect rates. A recent report by the non-profit concluded that from 1996 though 2001, more than 16 million Americans consumed dangerous amounts of contaminated tap water. The report found that water supplies in and around Washington, D. C. , Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, and the Bay Area in California were putting the greatest number of people at risk, although 1,100 other smaller water systems across the country also tested positive for high levels of contaminants. БDirty water going into the treatment plant means water contaminated with chlorination byproducts coming out of your tap,Б said Jane Houlihan, EWGБs Research Director.
БThe solution is to clean up our lakes, rivers, and streams, not just bombard our water supplies with chlorine. Б Eliminating water pollution and cleaning up our watersheds are not going to happen overnight, but alternatives to chlorination for water treatment do exist. Dr. Montague reports that several European and Canadian cities now disinfect their water supplies with instead of chlorine. Currently, a handful of U. S. cities do the same, most notably Las Vegas, Nevada and Santa Clara, California. Those of us who live far from Las Vegas or Santa Clara, though, do have other options. First and foremost is filtration at the faucet.
Carbon-based filters are considered the most effective at removing THMs and other toxins. The consumer information website compares various water filters on the bases of price and effectiveness. The site reports that filters from Paragon, Aquasana, Kenmore, GE, and Seagul remove most if not all of the chlorine, THMs and other potential contaminates in tap water. Concerned consumers without the money to spend on home filtration, though, can just rely on good old-fashioned patience. Chlorine and related compounds will make their way out of if the container is simply left uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours. That old trick is well known to those taking care of house plants. Edited by Current studies indicate that using or drinking water with small amounts of chlorine does not cause harmful health effects and provides protection against.
Your water company monitors water quality regularly to provide you with safe drinking water. Some people are more sensitive than others to chemicals and changes in their environment. Individuals who have health concerns should seek medical advice from their healthcare provider before contacting their local health department. During dialysis, large amounts of water are used to clean waste products out of a patientБs blood. Dialysis centers must treat the water to remove all chemical disinfectants, including chlorine and chloramine, before the water can be used for dialysis. Home dialysis users should consult the machine manufacturer for instructions on how to properly treat their water before use.