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By Richard Mesquita, AquaMD
Water companies have used chlorine as their main disinfecting strategy for almost
a century. In the early years of the 20th century, chlorination of water was used
in Great Britain in an attempt to stop typhoid fever. Due to some success in Great
Chlorination virtually eliminated waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and hepatitis. Today, utility companies still use chlorine to prevent and kill bacteria that might otherwise be present in water supplies. Over the last 30 years, however, a growing body of research has shown chlorine and its assorted byproducts are very harmful to your health. For example, when chlorine interacts with organic matter in water, it forms disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Two primary DBP categories are trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and haloacetic acids (HAA's). These DBPs have been linked to damaging effects to heart, lung, kidney and central nervous system as well as cancer. Even worse, the Environmental Protection Agency recent lowered the level of TTHMs they will permit in the water supply to 80 ppb (parts per billion).
As always, cost is one reason -
What's more, here are some recent distortions we've discovered water companies all over the country are telling their customers:
One water company in New York actually had TTHM levels of 89 ppb. But because the average level for the year was below 80 ppb, they could legally claim their water meets all safe drinking water standards. Similarly, a water company in Pennsylvania recorded TTHM levels of 94 ppb. But because the average was lower than 80 ppb, they told their customers their water was safe. Another water company in California logged average TTHM levels of 78 ppb. Since 78 ppb is just below the standard of 80 ppb, they can legally claim their water is safe.
A Florida water company made the same claims because their TTHM average was 73 ppb.
I'd like to tell you these are isolated examples, but they're not. They are the norm.
If DBPs are in your water, you will be exposed to them primarily by inhaling steam vapor when you shower (DBPs easily escape into the air).
If DBPs are in your water, I urge you to have them removed to protect your family's health.