Is Drinking Chlorinated Water Healthy

Is drinking chlorinated water healthy? The notion of whether or not your chlorinated tap water is ‘healthy’ for you to drink is an intriguing question. USEPA regulates the level of contaminants which can be present in tap water. As long as those contaminants fall below the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), the water is deemed to be acceptable. But what does acceptable mean? Does it mean the water is safe for healthy individuals? Does it mean the water is healthy to drink?

USEPA also limits the amount of chlorine or chloramine (a combination of chlorine and ammonia) that can be in water. From a health perspective one has to inquire as to what happens to these compounds when they are ingested. I have heard some EPA officials suggest that they are immediately (and harmlessly) oxidized in the stomanch. See what happens when I drink chlorinated tap water here.

I don’t think there is a clear answer to this question of health. My opinion was reinforced recently when I came across this article: Chloramines in Water. The author, a former head of USEPA drinking water standards division says this in the article,

“The risk from chlorinated drinking water has not yet been completely determined after about 37 years since the first TTHM regulation, and less information is available on chloraminated drinking water.”

That is a fascinating statement. If you visit my resource library you’ll find a number of articles which suggest that drinking chlorinated water is unhealthy and can cause various cancers. I don’t honestly know the answer. Since chlorine is a poison it makes sense to me to eliminate it, along with other poisons, from  your water. It is my impression that it is the little things that we do every single day that cause us to be healthy or unhealthy, affecting longevity and quality of life.

USEPA standards are a poltical compromise and subject to revision. You may protect yourself with the appropriate drinking water filter.

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About James McMahon

Studied ecology at the University of Illinois, mountain survival at Eastern Washing University, Deep Ecology at Naropa, River Ecology with The Nature Conservancy and Luna Leopold
This entry was posted in Exposure to Toxins, Healthy Drinking Water and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is Drinking Chlorinated Water Healthy

  1. Sharon Reams says:

    I don’t understand what did you mentioned through this post and you confused me as well as you. But I just know one thing that chlorine is not good for health and it’s a poison and I always filter my drinking water to remove chlorine. But you should aware of your shower water cause surely chlorine is so much harmful for your skin and hair. So it’s a must to remove chlorine from your shower water. Thanks

    • James McMahon says:

      Shower filters only turn chlorine into chloride and do nothing to remove the other carcinogens in water including the dangerous trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. Review your local water report and you’ll find them listed.

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