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The Ultimate Guide To Chlorinated Drinking Water

Written by: Donavan Jones on March 19, 2020

People had long battled a variety of health problems that were spread through water before chlorine was added to tap water.

This included diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. When scientists discovered that chlorine is an effective disinfectant, that changed everything.

Why?

Chlorine was added to public water supplies to kill off disease-causing pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoans.

These pathogens commonly grow in water reservoirs, on walls of water mains and in storage tanks.

Chlorine has been accepted as the savior against cholera and other waterborne diseases.

Chlorines disinfectant qualities have allowed communities and whole cities to grow and prosper by providing disease-free tap water.

senior drinking water

 

Table Of Contents:

Disinfecting With Chlorine Has A Price

According to the EPA, Americans now are consuming 300-600 times the amount of chlorine that is safe to ingest.

Why is chlorine in drinking water so dangerous?

Trihalomethanes (THMs) are formed when chlorine has been introduced into the water supply and reacts with the other naturally occurring elements.

Are they harmful?

Yes, these by-products produce free radicals in the body, which trigger cell damage. They are highly carcinogenic, even in small amounts.

THMs have been linked to a wide range of human health problems ranging from asthma and eczema to bladder cancer and heart disease.

According to a report from the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality, the cancer risk for people who drink chlorinated water is up to 93% higher than for those who drink water that does not contain chlorine.

How Much Chlorine Is In Tap Water

 

confused man to why there is Chlorine In Tap Water

The EPA requires treated tap water to have a chlorine level that is detectable.

Why?

The EPA thinks it will help prevent contamination. They allow the tap water to have up to 4 parts per million of chlorine.

Wow, that sounds like a lot!

The EPA states that there is no known or expected health risk of chlorine in your water at this level.

So what’s the big deal if chlorine cannot affect me at low levels?

As mentioned before, chlorine can react to other naturally occurring elements in your water to form toxins called trihalomethanes (THMs).

THMs can cause cell damage and they are highly carcinogenic, even in small amounts.

Is Chlorine In Tap Water Bad For Me

The cancer risk for people who drink chlorinated water is up to 93% higher than for those whose water doesn’t contain any chlorine according to a report from the US Council of Environmental Quality.

That’s a huge difference!

Is Chlorine Bad To Breathe

 

Breathing Chlorine In Tap Water

Although these products are safe when you are handling them correctly, chlorine is poisonous and swallowing or inhaling it can cause you harm.

Chlorine poisoning is a serious medical emergency.

I thought the EPA regulated the chlorine in drinking water.

You are right but think about it.

Each time you drink a glass of water you get a dose of chlorine.

You get another dose when you wash your dishes and another dose when you take a shower or bath.

There are so many different times you will use water throughout the day.

Here are some other ways you can get some chlorine into your body.

  • Washing your hands
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Washing your baby
  • Washing your car
  • Swimming in your pool

What Does Chlorine Do To Your Body

Chlorine is primarily absorbed through inhalation but it also can be absorbed through your skin.

At low levels, chlorine inhalation causes irritation to the skin and eyes along with a sore throat or a cough. At higher levels, inhalation causes symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and tightness of the chest.

What Kind Of Chlorine Is Used In Drinking Water

Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to drinking water to disinfect it and kill off germs. 

To achieve safe levels of chlorine in your drinking water there are different processes that are being used.

Chlorine is available as a compressed elemental gas, sodium hypochlorite solution (NaOCl) or solid calcium hypochlorite (Ca(OCl)2 1

Chlorine Affects Your Immune System

It’s no secret that chlorine has the ability to kill pathogenic bacteria.

But did you know that chlorine will destroy our beneficial bacteria too?

It is estimated that 70% of your immune systems beneficial bacteria is effected when chlorine is introduced to the human body.

Scientists have found that a lack of these beneficial bacteria is linked to:

  • Obesity
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Autism

 

bacteria

What Can I Do

Chlorine plays an important role in protecting water from harmful pathogens.

When it isn’t filtered out, it can also do real harm to your health.

Water filtration systems remove most if not all of the chlorine and chloramine contaminants in tap water.

Chlorine Risks

shower head

Chlorine is the number one contaminate in our drinking water! This chemical is added to our water supply as a way to purify water and kill off microorganisms and other waterborne pathogens. Chlorine has several side effects as well. The municipality does not simply use chlorine because it is the safest and most effective means of disinfection, rather because it is the cheapest method. Discover the Health Risks Of Chlorine below:

Risk of Cancer

Researchers have found that people who drink and bathe in chlorinated water over a long period of time have a greater risk of getting bladder, rectal and breast cancers. Studies have shown that by-products created in the chlorine disinfection process create trihalomethanes (THMs). When THMs are ingested they encourage the growth of free radicals that can destroy or damage vital cells in the body. This can cause cancer. Below is a list of by-products that caused cancer in lab animals.

  • Haloacetic acids (HAAs)
  • Trihalomethane (THMs)

Hazardous To Your Child’s Health

 

Happy friends

Some studies have shown that drinking and bathing in chlorinated water can potentially increase the risk of asthmatic attacks in children. In other studies, mice that were exposed to chloramines and chlorine grew tumors in their intestines and kidneys. If the skin is exposed to chlorinated water, irritation and burning may occur.

Cell Damage

It’s no secret that chlorine kills living organisms. Drinking and bathing in water that has chlorine will destroy cells and tissue in our human bodies. We are just complex organisms. This could explain the carcinogenic behavior of chlorine.

Asthma Risk

 

asthma is a Health Risks Of Chlorine

Drinking, bathing and swimming in chlorine contaminated water will increase your chance of developing respiratory problems. In some Florida cities, the concentration of chlorine in tap water is just as high as in swimming pools. This can cause irritation of the airways. Chlorine contaminated water causes the following symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Tightness in your chest
  • Weak cough
  • Mild sore throat
  • Increased dryness in your throat
  • Irritation in your nasal passages

Heart Problems

Studies have shown that exposure to chlorine can cause some serious threats to your cardiovascular system. Scientists conducted a test where they used two groups of animals to test on to find out the basic cause of atherosclerosis that eventually leads to strokes and heart attacks. One group of animals was giving chlorine contaminated water while the other got filtered water. The results of this experiment confirmed that the animals who drank the chlorine contaminated water showed some levels of heart and circulatory diseases.

heart problems is a Health Risks Of Chlorine

 

What Can I Do About My Chlorine Contaminated Water

So, you want to protect your family and yourself from the dangerous effects of chlorine. What can you do? Surprisingly chlorine is one of the easiest contaminants to remove from your water! Florida Water Analysis recommends you take precautionary measures to protect your family. Give us a call today to get your water filtration system. These devices will filter the chlorine and other contaminants in your water.

Conclusion

Chlorine treatment does not guarantee that by the time your drinking water comes out of your home’s faucet it is free of unhealthy microorganisms.

On occasion, dangerous bacteria such as e-coli and coliform are still found in chlorinated tap water.

What, how?

Typically when this occurs it is due to a problem related to the cities treatment system itself or when the water travels through the cities water pipes that go to your home.

Thus, relying on chlorine disinfection alone is a false guarantee that the water from your faucet is safe to drink.

At minimal exposure to these types of bacteria can cause symptoms similar to the flu, such as headaches, diarrhea, cramps, nausea or vomiting.

It is highly recommended to use an inline carbon filter to ensure adequate water filtration of unhealthy chlorine.

Your water can cause a host of other problems for you when chlorine is not filtered out properly.

Contact us when you are ready to when the battle against chlorine.



6 responses to “The Ultimate Guide To Chlorinated Drinking Water”

  1. Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

  2. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.

  3. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.

  4. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  5. Avatar SMS says:

    Your site is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

  6. Avatar NO4PqMrpw7q6ng says:

    brilliantly insightful post. If only it was as easy to implement some of the solutions as it was to read and nod my head at each of your points

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Donavan Jones

About Donavan Jones

Donavan Jones is the web master at Florida Water Analysis. He’s an expert in inbound marketing, lead generation, graphic design, and coding. In his spare time, Donavan is developing a video game with his friends and family.