Chlorine has been used as an effective disinfectant in drinking water supplies for nearly 100 years. Chlorine is considered necessary to destroy many of the bacteria in your drinking water.
If it cleanses your water, then what is the problem?
Health officials are concerned with the chlorinating by-products, also known as “chlorinated hydrocarbons” or trihalomethanes (THM’s). Most THM’s are formed in drinking water when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring substances such as decomposing plant and animal materials. Risk for certain types of cancer are now being correlated to the consumption of chlorinated drinking water. The President’s Council on Environmental Quality states that “there is increased evidence for an association between rectal, colon and bladder cancer and the consumption of chlorinated drinking water.” Suspected carcinogens make the human body more vulnerable through repeated ingestion and research indicates the incidence of cancer is 44% higher among those using chlorinated water.
Even though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted new regulations in 1980 for cities to lower the chlorination by-products in water to level not exceeding 100 parts per billion, experts believe that it still doesn’t provide proper safeguards and should be strengthened. Unfortunately, there is a little likelihood that the use of chlorine will be discontinued since it is currently the most economically acceptable chemical for bacterial control at this time. It is ironic that the process of chlorination, by which we cleanse our water of infectious organisms, can create cancer-causing substances from otherwise innocent chemicals in water.
VOCs – Volitale Organic Chemicals – Chemicals that agricultural and non-agricultural industries use in the manufacture of rubber, pesticides, deodorants, solvents, plastics, and other products. EPA List Click Here
THMs – Trihalomethanes – Disinfection Byproducts produced when organics in water are mixed with disinfection products such as Chlorine. EPA List Click Here