08 Jul The facts about chlorine & THMs in your water
Most municipally treated water supplies in Canada use chlorine for water disinfection. Chlorine is a popular additive for several reasons. Firstly, it is effective at killing and reducing the growth of many microbes including bacteria, viruses and cysts . It also stays in your water from the water treatment facility to your home, preventing contamination during distribution.
The use of chlorine has helped to dramatically reduce mortality and illness rates linked to dangerous waterborne pathogens and diseases, including cholera and typhoid fever.
Many people, however, are sensitive to chlorine and can experience allergies, stomach discomfort, brittle hair and skin irritation. Chlorine can also cause food and beverages to develop an unpleasant taste or smell. Coffees and teas taste much better without chlorine !
The real potential danger: THMs
When chlorine comes in contact with organic matter, such as decaying leaves and vegetation found in many lakes and wells, it can form potentially carcinogenic byproducts called Trihalomethanes (THM ). Chloroform, a known carcinogen, is a potential THM chlorine byproduct. Exposure to THM has been linked to an increased risk of:
- Cancer (bladder, rectal, and kidney)
- Birth defects and miscarriages
- Asthma and respiratory tract damage
- Liver malfunction
- Weakened immune system
- Damage to the arteries
Municipalities try to control the THM levels to below Health Canada guidelines of less than 0.1 mg/L. But, thankfully, they can be almost completely removed from your home’s water with a simple treatment process.
To remove these chemicals, without eliminating your water’s natural healthful minerals, simply install an under-the-sink water filtration system that is certified to reduce THM and chlorine . Or, if you already have a filtration system, exchange the filter for a certified cartridge.
Not sure where you start?
Here are made-in-Canada and NSF/ANSI certified systems that thousands of Canadians use in their homes to remove chlorine and THM . These systems are readily available at most retailers in Canada, including Home Hardware and Canadian Tire:
- Chlorine removal drinking water system
- Activated carbon cartridges models for standard 10″ filter housings: LR1 and VC1
- Whole home filter for reducing chlorine