Water makes up a large part of our bodies and is essential in our lives. Tap water is a beneficial source of water in our homes.
Around 71% of Americans drink tap water regularly. Although tap water isn’t just for consumption – it is also used for cleaning, bathing, and laundry.
With water contamination in Michigan, more people have been thinking about their water quality, including the chlorine in their water.
Drinking water with small amounts of chlorine will not cause you an immediate impact. However, it can cause a long-term impact if you drink it regularly. In this article, we discuss 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 non-toxic to humans. Many cities and towns are known to add chlorine to their water.
The purpose is for chlorine to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, or other organisms that are in the water. These organisms could make you ill if you drink the water.
In swimming pools, chlorine disinfects the water so that the water is safe to swim in. The same principle applies to the water we get from the tap, but it makes water safe to drink and use.
A more concentrated chlorine solution is used in swimming pools compared to the weaker solution used in our drinking water.
It was around the 1800s when people started to add chlorine to their water. They had learned that chlorine could disinfect water.
When water was untreated, it was common for people to contract dysentery, cholera, and typhoid, which are water-borne diseases.
Thus, when chlorine was first introduced into the water to help disinfect it, people saw that chlorine reduced the chances of people contracting these diseases and helped to keep people much safer from the water.
Today, we know other ways to treat and fight pathogens in our water. One of these ways is by using ultraviolet light. Although using chlorine is still common today as it is a much cheaper alternative.
Some local governments may use chloramine instead of chlorine, a chemical cousin of chlorine. However, chloramine has its disadvantages. Diluted chlorine is non-toxic to humans, but it can have harmful effects.
Even with chlorine added to the water, it doesn’t guarantee that the water you are drinking does not contain any harmful bacteria. Some bacteria may become tolerant to chlorine, which means the water may not be as safe as you think.
Dangers Of Having Chlorine In Your Tap Water
Many people enjoy drinking tap water, but 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 found in the water. Compounds are created, which can have several health effects. Here are some issues that can occur due to chlorine in the water.
One study revealed that when people are exposed to chlorine in a swimming pool, there is an increase in exercise-induced asthma symptoms.
Even if a swimmer never had other asthma symptoms or the chlorine levels were below the safety standard, swimmers had more asthma-related symptoms.
Therefore, if you shower or bathe in water containing chlorine, you are absorbing that chlorine into your skin. Also, you are breathing in the steam, which contains chlorine.
Inhaling this chlorine can aggravate and activate breathing problems.
Another study explored the effects of dichlorophenols, which are used in chlorinating water and pesticides, and concluded that they increase food allergies.
The volunteers that had the highest levels of dichlorophenols in their bodies were much more likely to suffer from food allergies and have more of them.
This study focuses on dichlorophenols found in pesticides and not tap water. However, the effects may be similar.
A study conducted by a Taiwanese team discovered that pregnant women exposed to trihalomethanes in chlorinated water were more likely to give birth to children with various birth abnormalities.
Rectal And Bladder Cancer
In 1995, Environmental Health Perspectives published a study suggesting that a byproduct of THM in chlorinated water increases rectal and bowel cancer.
It could account for some of the 5,000 cases of bladder cancer and 8,000 cases of rectal cancer per year in America alone.
Researchers are currently doing more work on this subject.
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 to chlorine to prevent it from getting into your home.
There are a couple of things to remove chlorine from your water. You can use a water refiner that uses carbon or install a whole house filtration system.
You could also install a drinking water system. This way you can 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, you might consider using a water refiner. A water refiner is the latest advancement in water treatment because they soften the water and remove impurities, including chlorine.
The refiner uses high-quality carbon to bind to chlorine and remove it. In addition, the refiner removes the hassle and expense of changing filters every couple of months.
A water refiner is ideal for homes that receive hard public water. It uses half the amount of salt you would typically use with many water softening systems.
Chlorine has been in our waters for years because of its beneficial disinfectant properties. Yet, it isn’t good for you to drink it in large amounts.
Even though the concentrations of chlorine are low, they can still have negative impacts on your health. However, 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.