Almost every water supply is contaminated by numerous impurities such as germs, bacteria, viruses, and other deadly micro-organisms. Even most of the drinking water that comes from the public water supply gets contaminated by the old pipes and storage tanks. With such an increasing rate of contamination in drinking water, it is not possible to get pure drinking water these days. Chlorine is the most popular disinfectant used in every municipal water treatment plant to kill all the micro-organisms. Chlorine has disinfecting properties, which help in eliminating the water-borne diseases. However, it can also have drastic effects on our body.
Chlorine is a greenish-yellow toxic gas having a choking odor. It is very hazardous and corrosive chemical, which is compressed to form a liquid and then it is added to the drinking water and swimming pools to kill bacteria. Chlorine is one of the most common elements that we all have experienced in our drinking water. Everyone has experienced the bad taste and smell in the drinking water which is the primary reason of chlorination in drinking water.
Why is Chlorine used in drinking water?
Since chlorine is inexpensive and very effective in killing all the microorganisms, therefore, it is used in every water supply. Most of the water supply companies use chlorine to disinfect water as it is the cheapest way to control the microbial contaminants in the water. Even with its inexpensive cost and effectiveness of killing the bacteria, the use of chlorine in drinking water has some consequences as well. The excessive amount of chlorine dosage through water can be harmful to your body. Though this chemical is effective in killing bacteria, when we consume the chlorinated water is also kills the good bacteria that are present in the intestinal tract. These good bacteria help in proper digestion and maintaining a good health.
Types of Chlorine Used in Water Treatment
In order to treat supplied water, pure chlorine is rarely used. But the common chlorine-containing substances like chlorine gas, sodium hypochlorite, and calcium hypochlorite are used. Though chlorine is used in water treatment, it can affect pH and the pH affects results in the taste of the water.
- Chlorine Gas: Chlorine gas is heavier than air and its high toxicity easily disinfects the water. Though it is a deadly weapon to treat the water, if it is added at a higher rate it can cause a respiratory irritant and even irritation in the skin. Chlorine gas, which is an amber-colored compressed liquid is the preferred type that is used to treat municipal water systems.
- Calcium Hypochlorite: Calcium hypochlorite is best known as chlorine pellets and granules that is mainly used in residential water treatment. Comes in white solid and it has a very pungent odor. The chemical can create heat to explode, so you should not store it near wood, cloth or petroleum products. Using Calcium hypochlorite to treat water can increase the pH level of the water.
- Sodium Hypochlorite: Sodium hypochlorite is a chlorine-containing compound, which is mainly recognized as household bleach. Sodium hypochlorite is used to treat the supplied water and the point is, it can also increase the pH level of the water that is being treated.
Also Read: Most Dangerous Water Borne Diseases in India
Harmful Effects of Chlorine In Drinking Water
The main issue with chlorine is that it reacts with the organic substance that comes in contact with it, which results in the by-product as Trihalomethanes (THMs). These by-products are extremely harmful to our body and known as Carcinogens. This element when ingested can increase the growth of free radicals that can damage the vital cells in our body. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, those who are drinking water where the THMs have formed can face many problems in kidney, liver or central nervous system and also increase the risk of cancer. It has been medically proved that this element can increase the risk of asthma attack also. The long-term exposure to THMs can also cause many other health issues like eczema, heart problems, miscarriage, and birth defects.
Those who drink water for a long time with chlorine where THMs have formed, people can experience problems in the liver, kidney, or central nervous system. They can also increase the risk of bladder cancer. Breast Cancer is one of the common factors among women who drink higher levels of chlorination water for a longer period of time. Some infants and young children those who drink water containing chlorite would also experience nervous system effects. This can also affect the fetus of pregnant women who drink chlorite water. It is also studied that THMs may be responsible for reproductive problems and miscarriage as well.
How to remove chlorine from water
Fortunately, the removal of chlorine from the drinking water is very easy. You can simply install purification system in your home and get rid of chlorine contamination from water. Though carbon filters can also remove chlorine from water there are also many impurities present in drinking water that has to be removed. To make sure that you are free from every type of impurities you must have an RO water purifier in your home. RO water purifier is by far the most suitable water purification system that can deliver 100% pure and safe water. However, the selection of RO water purifier can be difficult. We have some good water purifier brands like Kent, Aquaguard, and Pureit.
Even knowing the harmful consequences of using an excessive amount of chlorine still many companies are using it in a large amount. To make sure we don’t get affected by the hazardous effects of drinking chlorinated water the only solution is introducing an excellent water purification system in our home. Make a wise move right now and shield your loved ones from the water-related issues.