For more than 100 years we have been depending on the addition of chlorine for the purification of water and for exterminating all waterborne pathogens. Though the usage of chlorine was highly successful in killing most of the microorganisms present in water yet the bad news is that drinking of chlorinated water entails a number of health hazards. In this article we are going to discuss some of the risks associated with drinking of highly chlorinated water.
Why is Chlorine present in tap water and our drinking water ?
Chlorine disinfects the water by killing all the microorganisms but it doesn’t anyway address the chemical contaminants present in water. Moreover it doesn’t permanently remove the risks of the presence of unhealthy pathogens. Even highly chlorinated water might contain a number of harmful bacteria like coliform or e-coli. This can happen because of issues related to the water treatment or its transportation to our houses. This is why depending solely on chlorine for water disinfection if never a full proof guarantee that the tap water is safe on our body. Even the slightest exposure to the above mentioned bacteria could lead to symptoms such as headache, cramps, nausea, stomach upset and vomiting. This is why more and more people are resorting to water filters which helps to do away with the unhealthy pathogens and other impurities which might find its way to our drinking water.
Health risks drinking Chlorinated water
According to a scientific research conducted by the Medical College of Wisconsin there is a direct relation between cancer and chlorinated water. The US Council of Environmental Quality has released a report stating that the risk of cancer among people who drink chlorinated water is 93% more than those who don’t drink water containing chlorine. The chlorine in the water might react with certain organic chemicals present in water to form possible carcinogens like Trihalomethanes or THMs. According to Breastcancerfund.org, the common factor among all patients with breast cancer is that all of them have 50-60% higher level of THMs in their body than people without breast cancer. Apart from being a cancer causing agent THMs could also boost the creation of free radicals in our body. Apart from cancer, chlorine along with Trihalomethanes are connected with different kinds of diseases like liver and kidney malfunctioning, impaired immune system, nervous disorders, birth defects and desensitisation of arteries.
On going research on health effects caused by Chlorine
Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study stating that long term drinking of highly chlorinated water would augment the risk of bladder cancer development by 80%. Every year more than 45,000 Americans are diagnosed with bladder cancer. Yet another research by Health Freedom news suggest that intake of chlorinated water is officially connected to an enhanced risk of colon cancer.
Some of the other ailments associated with regular intake of chlorinated water are mentioned below:
- Heart diseases
- Irritation in eye, sinus and throat
- Lower sperm count
- Risk of miscarriage
- Damage of hair cuticles
- Liver issues
- Kidney issues
- Asthma in children
- Gastrointestinal problems, arthritis and rashes
- Dry scalp and hair