Boofar's Fitness and Nutrition Tips

Can Chlorine In Drinking Water Be Harmful To Your Health?

Chlorine, a disinfectant and bleach, is added to tap water to kill or at least reduce various forms of microorganisms that may be present in the water. This includes diseases that may be spread such as cholera and typhoid fever. It is extremely effective in treating water and is the most commonly used chemical to treat water all over the world. Compared to other alternative disinfectant chemicals, such as ozonation, chlorine has been tried and tested as the best so far. Chlorine in drinking water is essential to reduce diseases and bacteria that may be harmful to our health. Despite chlorine being such a commonly used water treatment, a few tests on chlorine in drinking water show that there are thought to be a number of health risks involved in treating it this way. Chlorine, when added to water, can react with organic matter already present, such as decaying vegetation. This results in whatís called a by-product, which is a chemical reaction. The most common of these by-products is called trihalomethanes, or THMs.


Trihalomethanes, a result from the addition of chlorine in drinking water, have been tested on lab animals at very high exposure rates to find that the risk of cancer was increased. Studies on humans have also shown that there could be a link between long periods of exposure to high levels of chlorination and cancer as well. In 1991, a report of 12 different indicated that 9% of bladder cases and 15% bladder cases could be linked to the exposure of chlorine in drinking water and chlorine by-products. Studies have also shown that high levels of THMS may also have a negative effect on pregnant women. One study showed that women who drank large amounts of water containing THMS had an increased risk of miscarriage. However, further studies are yet to be done to confirm these findings.

How You Can Minimize Your Health Risks

One way to reduce the amount of water you drink containing chlorine or by-products is to buy a filter which will remove all bacteria, toxins, chemicals and microorganisms in the water. Activated carbon filters have been shown to remove all chlorine and by-products successfully, however make sure you follow the instructions carefully. Chlorine in drinking water may have created a means to killing hundreds of microorganisms that cause illness and disease; however itís important to stay aware of the possible side-effects that long-term use may cause.