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The Harmful Effects of Chlorine in Water


Chlorine has a reputation as a highly effective disinfectant, and is often added to public water supplies to kill any bacteria that might cause disease. Chlorine in drinking water helps to prevent many water-borne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid. But its effective disinfecting qualities do come with a price, which in some cases can even harm humans.

Chlorine In Water May Have Harmful EffectsWhen chlorine is introduced into the water supply, it reacts with various elements in the water that occur naturally. These reactions form toxins known as trihalomethanes, or THMs. These toxins eventually are introduced into people as they drink from their water taps. THMs have a possible link to many human health problems, including asthma, eczema, bladder cancer and heart disease. They also are believed to encourage the growth of free radicals that can damage important body cells.

When Was Chlorine First Used for Water Treatment?

It’s thought that the first attempt to treat water with chlorine was in 1850. John Snow tried to disinfect the Broad Street Water Pump in London after a serious cholera outbreak.

According to Peter Montague, M.D. from the Environmental Research Foundation, heavy consumption of tap water with chlorine by pregnant women may result in higher birth defects. And, a report by the Environmental Working Group found from 1996-2001, approximately 16 million Americans drank tap water that had dangerous amounts of contaminants.

Also, questions have been raised about long-term exposure to chlorinated water on the skin. Chlorine is absorbed through the skin through repeated exposure, such as in the bath and shower. This could have a negative effect on small children, which many mothers find worrisome. An ideal solution in the showerto minimize skin exposureto chlorine is a Pelican Water Whole Water Filter System, or a Premium Shower Filter.

There is more definitive research that confirms worries about long-term exposure to cholorine. Some researchers believe that there is a definitive link between chlorine and several types of cancer. Studies have found a potential link between chlorine and breast cancer. In fact, a study done in Hartford CT found that women with breast cancer have 50-60% higher levels of organochlorines in their breast tissue.

Options to Chlorinated Water

Given the risks of chlorinated water, some Americans want to explore alternatives. Some localities – including Las Vegas, NV and Santa Clara, CA – have discovered viable options to treating water with chlorine to kill water-borne contaminants. One of the most innovative ways is to treat water supplies with ozone.

For Americans who do not live in those cities, there are other affordable and effective options. The first step is to have chlorine testing done of one’s drinking water. Next, use a home water filter to filter the chlorine and other contaminants from drinking water. A Pelican Water Premium Whole House Water Filter and Salt-Free Softener provides families with pure-tasting, clean water, free of chlorine and other harmful chemicals.

Water filters feature Granular Activated Carbon Medias (GAC). This is a unique blend of high-grade, coconut shell based activated carbons in the filters. Having two varieties of carbon means that more contaminants are filtered before the water leaves the tap. Carbon Media Filters purify hundreds of contaminants from drinking water, including:

  • Chlorine
  • Pesticides
  • Chloramines
  • Herbicides
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Industrial solvents

With a filter from Pelican Water, anyone can enjoy tasty, clean drinking water, free of contaminants and chemicals.

Pelican Combo System Salt-Free Water Softener Whole-House Water Filter