Chlorine

  • Moderate to heavy consumption of chlorinated tap water by pregnant women has been linked with miscarriage, birth defects, heart problems, cleft palate, and major brain defects.a
  • The presence of chlorine in tap water has been linked to the dramatic rise of heart disease in the United States. Scientists argue that chlorine is a primary cause of the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.b
  • Studies show chlorinated water is toxic to human intestinal bacteria, the body’s natural flora that converts organic compounds in our food into necessary nutrients.b
  • The American Journal of Epidemiology contains one of a number of studies that report chlorine disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are responsible for the increase in rectal and bladder cancers.b
  • Several research journals, including Environmental Health Perspectives, call the chlorine disinfectant byproduct Mutagen X (or MX) one of the most deadly carcinogens in tap water.b
  • After large rainstorms, your municipal water center may add more chlorine to the water supply to treat potentially larger number of microorganisms due to runoff or sewage discharges.d
  • During the summer, surface water used for drinking contains more organic material and, as a result, DBP levels are often higher than they are in the fall and other times of the years.d
  • Chlorinated water increases the amount of heavy metals such as lead and copper that are leached from pipes into tap water.b
  • Because chlorine is a calcium antagonist, long-term consumption of chlorinated water has been linked to loss of calcium in bones. Chlorinated tap water has also been linked to childhood and adult asthma and allergies.b
  • The EPA allows a higher level of chlorine in tap water (4 parts per million/ppm) than the recommended chlorine levels for public swimming pools (1-3 ppm).c

Chloromines

Chloramine is chiefly a secondary disinfectant.  Secondary disinfectants are added to water that has already been disinfected with a primary disinfectant, often chlorine.  (Chlorine can be both a primary and a secondary disinfectant.)  Secondary disinfectants are used to help protect treated water from recontamination with pathogens as it flows through the distribution network to the consumer.

 

  • Chloramine is lethal to aquatic animals and, like chlorine, must be removed from tap water with treatment products that are readily available from pet stores.

 

  • Like chlorine, chloramine must be removed from municipal water before it is used for kidney dialysis. Chlorine and chloramine can harm kidney dialysis patients during the dialysis process if they permeate the dialysis barrier and come into contact with the blood of a dialysis patient.

 

  • Chloramines are all respiratory irritants with trichloramine being the most toxic (order of toxicity: monochloramine < dichloramine < trichloramine-most severe.)