Friday, October 24, 2014
Does the Chlorine in Tap Water Raise Your Health Risks?
“Chlorine, added as an inexpensive and effective drinking water disinfectant, is also a known poison to the body,” says Vanessa Lausch of filter manufacturer Aquasana. “It is certainly no coincidence that chlorine gas was used with deadly effectiveness as a weapon in the First World War.” The gas would severely burn the lungs and other body tissues when inhaled, and is no less powerful when ingested by mouth. Lausch adds that researchers have now linked chlorine in drinking water to higher incidences of bladder, rectal and breast cancers. Reportedly chlorine, once in water, interacts with organic compounds to create trihalomethanes (THMs) — which when ingested encourage the growth of free radicals that can destroy or damage vital cells in the body. Here are some ways to get rid of the chlorine from your tap water on your own: Install a carbon-based drinking water filter, which absorbs chlorine and other contaminants before they get into your glass or body. Tap-based filters remove most if not all of the chlorine in tap water, and are relatively inexpensive to boot. Some swear by the method of letting their water sit for 24 hours so that the chlorine in the glass or pitcher will off-gas. But letting the tap run for a while is not likely to remove any sizable portion of chlorine, unless one were to then let the water sit overnight before consuming it. Another option is a product called WaterYouWant, which looks like sugar but actually is composed of tasteless antioxidants and plant extracts. The manufacturer claims that a quick shake of the stuff removes 100 percent of the chlorine (and its odor) from a glass a tap water.