Water contaminants have caused health problems around the globe for as long as mankind has existed. Today water chlorination here in the United States has all but eliminated many deadly waterborne diseases, making illnesses like dysentery a problem of the past. However, there's more to water purification than meets the eye, and scientists are discovering that this method of purifying our water is not foolproof. It's important to understand what problems have arisen from chlorination of water, and what new health challenges have arisen that public water treatments centers have not yet overcome.
Brief History of Water Chlorination
We began chlorinating water in the United States back in 1908 at Boonton Reservoir of Jersey City. After that effort resulted in reduction of waterborne illnesses, chlorination projects began all over the nation. Chlorination remains the primary method of purifying drinking water in the United States.
What's the Problem with Chlorinated Water?
Unfortunately, the chlorination process, while effective, also produces a group of byproducts that can be harmful when consumed. These byproducts (Trihalomethanes, abbreviated THMs) are produced when chlorine interacts with certain organic material. THMs created from chlorination present most commonly in two different types: bromoform and dibromochloromethane.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors the levels of THMs in the water supply because of known health hazards. However, the acceptable level of THMs is debated by health experts.
The EPA currently requires municipalities to alert consumers if THMs exceed 80 parts per billion (PPB). The old "accepted level" was 100 PPB, but the EPA has responded to the growing evidence that exposure to or consumption of THMs is detrimental to health.
There's no question that we need to purify our water before we drink it, and right now chlorination is the most common and affordable way for municipalities to accomplish this. A wide range of bacteria, viruses and parasites that used to present serious health problems are now controlled by the chlorination of our water supply.
However, it's possible to remove the chlorine byproducts from chlorinated water. Obviously it's best to drink, cook with, and bathe in water that has been first chlorinated and then filtered so that the chlorine byproducts (THMs) have been removed. Unfortunately our public water system is not advanced enough to do that. Homeowners have to install a water filtration system if they want to drink water free from THMs.
Health Risks Attributed to Chlorine Byproducts
How significant are the health risks associated with exposure to or consumption of chlorinated water containing high levels of THMs? Click on the links provided below to read studies that link chlorination byproducts with the following health risks:
- Bladder Cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Heart Trouble
- Rectal Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Pregnancy Problems (Miscarriage and Birth Defects)
The Solution: Remove Chlorine Byproducts from Drinking Water
Here at E.R. Services, we're fans of whole house water filtration systems. In particular, we typically recommend installation of a Pelican whole house water filtration system because this carbon filter effectively removes chlorine byproducts, delivering better tasting, safe water to drink, cook with and bathe in.
Our customers report great satisfaction in the improvement of water taste, odor, appearance and tell us the Pelican system is easy to maintain. When it comes time to replace the filter, all you have to do is replace the media inside the tank. No plumbing service is required and there is no need to replace the entire tank like that of other whole house systems.
Ready to install a whole house water filtration system? Give us a call at (704) 846-5371 and we'll set you up. You'll be glad you protected your family from chlorine byproducts, fluoride and other water contaminants.
Quick question & answer: How can I remove chlorine byproducts from my drinking water?
You can effectively remove chlorine byproducts from your drinking water by having a Pelican whole house water filtration system installed. This carbon filter gives you better tasting water that is safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in. When it comes to replacing the filter, you can replace the media inside the tank on your own, without needing professional assistance.