Chlorine In Drinking Water: What Are The Effects?

Water makes us a large part of our bodies and is an important part of our lives. Tap water is a very useful source of water in our homes. Especially as around 71% of Americans will drink tap water quite regularly.

Chlorine In Drinking Water What Are The Effects

Although, if tap water isn’t just for drinking it is used for other purposes such as cleaning, bathing and laundry.

A lot of people worry about the quality of their water. A current poll showed that over 63% of Americans worry about the quality of their water quite a lot. Especially as there has been a water crisis recently.

These have led to water contamination in Michigan, thus a lot more people have been thinking about their water quality, including the chlorine that is in their water.

Drinking water that has small amounts of chlorine in will not cause you an immediate impact. However, it can cause long term impact if you drink quite regularly. In this article, we will be discussing the effects of drinking water that has traces of chlorine in it.

Can Drinking Water With Chlorine Be Dangerous?

Tests have been conducted to work out the concentrations of chlorine in drinking water. These concentrations are nontoxic to humans. Many cities and towns are known to add chlorine to their water.

The purpose of this is for the chlorine to kill any harmful bacteria, viruses or organisms that are in the water. These organisms could make you really ill if the water is digested.

In swimming pools, chlorine is used to disinfect the water, so that the water is safe to be in. Thus, the same principle applies to water we get from the tap, but it used to make the water safe to drink and use.

Obviously, a stronger solution of chlorine is used in swimming pools, when compared to the weaker solution used in our drinking water.

It was around the 1800s when people started to add chlorine to their eater. They had learned that the chlorine could help to disinfect the water.

During this period, when water was untreated, it was very common for people to easily contract dysentery, cholera and typhoid, all of which are water-borne diseases.

Thus, when chlorine was first introduced into the water to help disinfect it, people saw that the chlorine reduced the chances of people contracting these diseases and helped to keep people much safer from the water. 

Today, we are aware of other ways that we can treat and fight bacteria that are found in our water. One of these ways is by using ultraviolet light. Although, the use of chlorine is still used widely today as it is a much cheaper alternative.

Some local governments may use chloramine instead of chlorine, which is a chemical cousin of chlorine. However, chloramine has its own disadvantages. Even diluted chlorine is still non-toxic to humans, but it can have its own harmful effects.

In addition to this, even with chlorine being added to the water, it doesn’t guarantee that the water you are drinking does not contain any harmful bacteria.

It is known that some bacteria may become tolerant to chlorine, which means the water isn’t as safe as you think it is.

Dangers Of Having Chlorine In Your Tap Water

A lot of people enjoy drinking tap water, but by ingesting tap water that contains chlorine can have various health effects. These effects are typically due to the chlorine that has formed into trihalomethanes (THMs).

THMs occur when chlorine reacts with small organic particles that are found in the water. Compounds are then formed, which can used several health effects.

Below, we have put together some of the effects that can occur due to chlorine being present in the water. 

Asthma Symptoms

A study has revealed that when some is exposed to chlorine in a swimming pool, this is related to an increase in exercise induced asthma symptoms in swimmers.

Even if a swimmer has never had any other asthma symptoms, or the chlorine levels are below the safety standard, swimmers have found they are experiencing asthma related symptoms.

Therefore, if you take a shower or bath in water that contains chlorine, you are then absorbing that chlorine in your skin. Also, you are breathing in the steam which contains chlorine.

Therefore, if you have breathing problems, then breathing in this chlorine can aggravate and activate them.

Food Allergies

A study was carried out on the effects that dichlorophenols have. This is often seen used in chlorinating water and pesticides.

The study concluded that the volunteers that had the highest levels of dichlorophenols in their body were much more likely to suffer from food allergies and have a lot more of them.

This study was focused on dichlorophenols that are found in pesticides and not water. However, the effects have been found to be very similar.

Birth Abnormalities

In a study conducted by a Taiwan team, that involved over 400,000 participants. They discovered that pregnant women, who had been exposed to trihalomethanes found in chlorinated water, were much more likely to give birth to children that had 1 to 3 different birth abnormalities.

This can include holes in their heart, cleft palates, minimal brain development and ventricular septal defects.

Rectal And Bladder Cancer

In 1995, the Environmental Health Perspectives published a study suggesting that a byproduct of THM in chlorinated water was an increase in rectal and baller cancer.

This could then potentially account for 5,000 cases of bladder cancer and 8,000 cases of rectal cancer every year in just America.

A lot of people are currently doing more work into this subject at the moment.

Removing Chlorine From Your Drinking Water

Removing Chlorine From Your Drinking Water

The best way to remove chlorine from your water and prevent and reduce the effect of chlorine is by using carbon. The latest technology has shown that carbon will bind itself to chlorine to prevent it from getting into your home.

There are a couple of things you can do to remove chlorine from your water. Using a water refiner that uses carbon or installing a whole house filtration system.

You could also install  a drinking water system. This way you will drink or bathe in clean water free of chlorine.

Using A Water Refiner For Public And City Water

If your water is naturally hard and contains chlorine, then you may want to consider using a water refiner. A water refiner is the latest advancement when it comes to water softeners. This is because they soften the water and remove all impurities, including chlorine.

The chlorine is removed by the refiner using a high quality layer of carbon. This carbon will remove and bind to the chlorine. In addition to this, the refiner will remove the hassle and expense of having to change filters every couple of months.

A water refiner is ideal for someone that received hard public water, and uses half the amount of salt that you would typically use with a lot of water softening systems.


Chlorine has been in our waters for years, due to its disinfectant properties. Yet, it isn’t good for you to be drinking large amounts of water containing chlorine.

Even though the concentrations of chlorine are low, they can still have negative impacts on your health. However, as you can see, there are ways to get rid of the chlorine in your water to make it safer to drink.

We hope you have found this article useful and have a clearer insight into the effects that chlorine in your drinking water has on you.

Mandy Anderson