The water that we drink can be hazardous to our health. According to the U.S. government, 900,000 people die each year from drinking water that contains disease-causing organisms. About 900 of these people actually die because of it. This problem needed a solution, and officials began to add chlorine to the water to make it safer for people to drink. This action did have some good effects. Fewer people contracted water-borne illnesses, but the chlorine may have created other problems that we must address. If you don’t know how much chlorine is in your water, you may want to make an effort to find out after you read this.
Is Chlorine Safe in Your Drinking Water?
Water treatment plants add chlorine to the water to make it safer to drink. Water passes through the pipes in your home and outside of it, and the concern has been that these are very dirty places. Chlorine was meant to disinfect the water supply. The fact is that chlorine is a poisonous gas, and it may have other chemicals in it. Overall, it is considered to be a hazardous chemical.
Chlorine does have some positive attributes. It does, after all, kill many viruses and bacteria, and this was the purpose for putting chlorine in the water in the first place, but this may not be the entire story. The chlorine in water reacts with other elements that are present in the water. When this occurs, trihalomethanes or THMs are created, and this is a problem because THMs are toxins. THMs have been known to cause several serious conditions in humans, including heart disease, cancer, asthma and eczema.
Is chlorine safe to drink? It appears that chlorine is not particularly safe for human beings to ingest because of the presence of THMs. If you were to visit your water supplier’s website, you would, most likely, be taken to a page that says chlorinated water is safe to drink and that there is no correlation between chlorinated water and cancer. However, this does not seem to be realistic.
How Does Chlorine Get in Water?
Chlorine is added to the public water systems to kill the bacteria that cause disease. It is the reason that diseases like cholera and other water-borne illnesses are not being spread around the country like they used to be.
How to Test for Chlorine Levels
You have several ways that you can test your water’s chlorine level. The simplest way is to obtain a chlorine test kit. The kit will have test strips that you will be able to place in a glass of water. All you will need to do at that point is wait for the test strip to turn colors. Then, compare the color of your test strip to the examples on the kit’s color chart. The only problem with this option is the fact that these tests are not necessarily accurate.
Another option is test solution kits. With this option, you add a few drops of the solution to a sample of water and then wait for it to change colors. Then, you compare the color of your sample to the color chart. A third option is DPD chlorine testing tablets. You will add the tablet to a sample of water. Then, compare the color of your sample to the color chart.
What Are Safe Chlorine Levels in Drinking Water?
The Environmental Protection Agency has set safe chlorine levels at four parts per million or below for drinking water that comes from a public water source or from a well.
Health Issues with Chlorine in Water
Clinical research has been performed on chlorine in water, and the discoveries are somewhat startling. Harvard researchers determined that subjects who drink chlorinated water over a long period of time had a 21 percent chance of contracting bladder cancer.
A study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that those who drink chlorinated water over a long period of time have an 80 percent chance of developing bladder cancer.
Test subjects also had a 38 percent risk of contracting cancer of the rectum. In another study, scientists discovered that subjects who drank chlorinated water for a period of 15 years or longer had an increased risk of developing colon cancer.
Is chlorine safe to drink? Apparently, chlorinated water is not particularly safe for humans to drink. If this article has led you to consider testing your water, that is a wise choice. The health of your family depends on it.