Disinfection by-products found in public drinking water
(NaturalHealth365) Our nation’s drinking water supply is in dire need of improvements to safety and quality.
Chlorine is currently added to public drinking water due to its ability to destroy viruses and bacteria. But, while the chlorination of drinking water has greatly reduced serious health issues from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera, consuming chlorine in water also increase our risk of exposure to disinfection by-products called trihalomethanes.
Harmful disinfection by-products in public drinking water prove to be toxic
Disinfection by-products (DBPs) of chlorine in water form when chlorine and organic materials found naturally in water react with one another. These by-products include a variety of chemicals and acids caused by chlorine in water.
Chlorine reacts chemically with decaying plants, algae and other natural organic materials. And while disinfection by-products are often found in lakes, rivers and reservoirs, there is a much greatest concern. You see, groundwater can also contain organic materials such as in shallow wells or wells located near surface water bodies.
Unfortunately, these DBPs can also form in household septic systems if chlorine-based cleaning products react with organic materials in the water. Of course, leaking swimming pools can also leach chlorine into the water supply.
How disinfection by-products get into your body
Other water disinfectant techniques include the addition of monochloramine, chlorine dioxide and ozone, usually in combination with chlorine. During the treatment process, all of these additional water disinfectants create some type of toxic by-product.
The ingestion of disinfection by-products like trihalomethanes occurs through drinking infected tap water. These pollutants can also be inhaled if released into the air such as when washing dishes, heating water for cooking or taking a shower. The hotter the water, the great the chance of airborne DBPs.
Disinfection by-products linked to cancer, birth defects and other reproductive health problems
While the full impact of the health risks of disinfection by-products is not fully known, studies have shown a connection between chlorinated water and cancers of the bladder, colon and rectum.
Other studies have found connections to a higher risk of birth defects related to the spinal cord and brain. Miscarriage, premature births, low birth weight and other reproductive health effects are also connected with these pollutants. In addition, high levels of DBPs are linked to kidney damage, liver damage and many forms of cancers.
We must be proactive about finding clean water
Most public water suppliers are not required to test or monitor their water supplies for DBPs. While some do, it is not a requirement. Never forget, clean water is essential for optimal human health and the use of chlorine – as a disinfectant – poses a serious public health risk. Will public health officials ever wake up?!
Protecting yourself from DBPs requires self-testing and vigilance to reduce exposure. The most effective ways to stay safe include using a high-quality water filter or finding a source of clean, natural spring water.
There are numerous public springs around the country. Visit www.findaspring.com to find the closest one to your location.