Why Is There Chlorine In Tap Water
People had long battled a variety of health problems that were spread through water, including diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. When scientist discovered that chlorine is an effective disinfectant, that changed everything. It 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.
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? Chlorine that has been introduced into the water supply reacts with the other naturally occurring elements to form toxins called trihalomethanes (THMs). 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.
Chlorine Affects Your Immune System
It’s no secret that chlorine has the ability to kill pathogenic bacteria. When chlorine is introduced to the human body, it destroys our beneficial bacteria, where an estimated 70% of our immune system operates. Scientists have found that a lack of these beneficial bacteria is linked to obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, and certain autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and asthma, and even autism.
What Can I Do
Chlorine plays an important role in protecting water from harmful pathogens. But when it isn’t filtered out, it can also do real harm to your health. Carbon filters remove most if not all of the chlorine, THMs and other potential contaminants in tap water.