You might be lucky enough to have safe drinking water run from your tap. Most households don’t think twice about mixing tap water with their favorite cordials, and that’s because it’s usually treated with chlorine and chloramines which eradicate a wide variety of harmful bacteria.
However, many people complain that chlorinated water has a ‘bleach-like’ smell to it and tastes far from delicious. More worryingly, chlorine is now strongly linked with an increased risk of cancer, and chloramine can react with other chemicals commonly found in drinking water to produce a carcinogen known as NDNA.
Fortunately, you can easily remove chlorine and chloramine from drinking water by using a filtration system, making your water much safer to consume as well as taste more delicious. Keep reading to find out why chlorinated water can be so dangerous and what you can to eliminate it from your water.
What Makes Chlorine and Chloramine Dangerous?
Chlorine has been used for decades to rid water of bacteria, viruses, protozoans and other pathogens that are commonly found in public water supplies. More recently, chloramine has started to replace chlorine because it can exist in water for longer.
Large amounts of chlorine can evaporate from water simply by exposing it to air for a prolonged period of time, though that allows air-borne pathogens to mix with the water. However, Chloramine can generally only be removed from water using a sophisticated filtration system. Unfortunately, despite the fact that both chemicals are effective disinfectants, chlorine and chloramine are strongly linked to various deadly cancers.
When ingested, chlorine spurs the development of dangerous free radicals that can attack and damage cells in your vital organs, which can lead to cancer. The most commonly affected organs are the bladder and rectum because the water you drink rests there for quite some time, though there have also been links to breast cancer in women.
Chloramine, on the other hand, can react with the small amounts of pharmaceutical pollution and methadone found in public drinking water to produce NDMA. NDMA is a powerful carcinogen that can lead to stomach and colon cancer when ingested.
Common Ways to Remove Chlorine and Chloramine
It’s easy to see why many people now prefer to eliminate chlorine and chloramine from their drinking water, not only to make water taste better but also to reduce the risk of developing a deadly disease. The most common filtration methods include:
- Chemical Dechlorinating Products – These products condition tap water to break down the bonds in chlorine and chloramines and are considered to be the easiest method of elimination by some. However, you should be aware that ammonia is created as chlorine is broken down which can also be harmful to the body. It’s important to read the labels carefully when browsing products, and you might want to find a 3-in-1 solution that eliminates chlorine, chloramine and the resulting ammonia.
- Reverse Osmosis – Reverse osmoses (RO) is becoming increasingly popular because it’s a relatively inexpensive method of filtration which eliminates a large number of chemicals and pathogens from drinking water. You can have an RO filter fitted to one of your taps, or you can attach a unit to the main water line that connects your home to the grid. You will need to have your filter replaced on a periodic basis.
- Carbon Filter – A Carbon filter can be attached to your sink’s faucet or installed under the counter to purify your water of chemicals that include chlorine and chloramine. However, you should be aware that chloramine exhausts carbon filters much faster than chlorine, and you might have to replace them relatively often. It’s advisable to purchase a product that has an indicator which tells you when it needs replacing.
Chlorine and chloramine are likely to remain abundant in drinking water because they are both highly effective disinfectants, but they’re only good for eliminating pathogens that cause an immediate risk. There needs to be more research carried out on the dangers of both chemicals, but the link between those who consume them and cancer is clear. It’s better to be safe than sorry and purchase an effective filter that ensures your drinking water poses no risks to your health.