Drinking water disinfection is among the most important technological advances of humanity, yet like every major historic development it has a downside. Today, we run the risk of over-ingesting the disinfection chemicals used in public water treatment, along with their dangerous disinfection bi-products. It’s a bummer to know what’s really in our water – everything from naturally occurring radioactive contaminants to anti-depressants. Some toxins, such as chlorine, are relatively easy to filter out. Others, like chloramine, and disinfection biproducts (DBPs) such as chloroform (CHC13), are much slower to dissipate and far more difficult to remove. These are the toxins believed to cause cancer.
Posts Tagged ‘Chloramine’
The New Normal? Updated…
Methane contamination has become such an issue that one of PA’s largest water suppliers, Pennsylvania American Water Co. in Hershey, PA, is working to stay ahead of the toxicity curve. David Templeton and Don Hopey report in Water company plans to change disinfectant used in some systems, in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the company will switch more treatment plants from Chlorine to Chloramine for disinfection in order to control “carcinogenic disinfection byproducts including trihelamethane and haloacetic acid.”
According to Heinz Award winning Ecologist and Author, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., when you chlorinate water that is contaminated with methane you end up with disinfection by-products such as Trihalomethanes, or chloroforms, which are known to cause bladder and colon cancer.
Use of Chloramine in public water supplies is more widely opposed than Chlorine. While complaints from Chlorine are mostly aesthetic, such as taste and smell, complaints from Chloramine include skin rashes, respiratory and digestive problems. EPA admits that not as much research has been done on Chloramine as Chlorine. Nevertheless, PA American Water is looking to increase their use of Chloramine wherever possible. (more…)