Nearly 100 years chlorine has been used in our Drinking Water.
Is Chlorine harmful?
It was first added to a community water system in 1908 in Chicago and was instrumental in eliminating many types of water-borne disease such as Cholera and Typhoid fever. Prior to this, many major cities had death tolls of 1 in 1000 people from Typhoid alone. Essentially bleach has been used to disinfect municipal water for nearly 100 years and has had some positive effects on public health.
How much is to much in our drinking water?
Any 'bleach' in our drinking water is too much, however the EPA guidelines allow up to 4 parts per million (ppm) in municipal tap water. I find this alarming since a standard pool test kit shows that levels above 3 ppm are not safe to swim in! I think common sense would tell us that if it is not safe to swim in, it most likely is not safe to drink.
With a very minimum amount of effort, especially on the internet, the evidence that this chemical is linked to cancer, heart disease and many other health problems is overwhelming. We need it in water to kill bacteria, but it should be removed prior to anyone drinking it.
If having it in our water is so unhealthy, why use it?
Our public water utilities are governed by Federal agencies, which are governed by us. While it is known to have significant adverse health effects on humans, we choose it over water borne disease outbreaks like typhoid and cholera that plagued most countries prior to chlorines introduction in the late 1800s. We don't use this chemical because it’s the most effective means of disinfecting water, we use it because it’s the cheapest!
With all the technology we possess today, we still essentially pour bleach in our drinking water to kill bacteria. There are several more healthful methods of disinfecting public water supplies and some other countries have turned to alternative methods because of recent findings about chlorine risks. The problem is that they are much more costly, and in reality… less practical. The fact that less than 1% of the water supplied to our homes is used for consumption, it’s just not practical to produce “healthy water” from a central supplier. Most people would not be willing to pay the price for alternative disinfect ion methods, which would more than triple water costs.
The solution is to keep it in our public water systems right up to the point-of-use and then remove
the chlorine with a home water filter.
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