Everyone knows that the water that comes from the tap has been disinfected with chlorine in an attempt to kill dangerous bacteria that comes from the public water system. However, it’s also a matter of public knowledge that chlorine is not 100% safe and that it can alter the taste and smell of the drinking water, making it unpleasant to use. Knowing these aspects leads to the question whether or not it’s safe to drink water that has been treated with chlorine. You can find the answer in the following lines.

Pros and Cons of Chlorine

Chlorine is generally used as a disinfectant because it’s cheap, efficient, accessible, and easy to use. Depending on the size of the water system, chlorine can be used in three forms, namely gaseous, liquid, and solid. Gaseous chlorine is the most popular form but it’s also the most dangerous because it’s a corrosive gas that can become a health hazard. The liquid form is sodium hypochlorite, also known as bleach, that is commonly used in small water systems because it doesn’t require heavy equipment. The solid form is represented by calcium hypochlorite that is also very easy to use and much safer than the gaseous chlorine.
Although chlorine is in demand for removing dangerous viruses and bacteria that can cause serious diseases, it can also be harmful to people’s health. Very high levels can lead to cancer and heart disease because it strongly affects the body’s natural chemistry. Chlorine is very dangerous for children who can suffer severe health issues due to long-term exposure to chlorinated water. As such, this method of disinfecting water should be eliminated and replaced with a safer and more effective one that will not become hazardous to people’s health. This is why it’s best to find solutions to remove chlorine from water and put an end to its harmful effects.
Tap water isn’t only used for drinking, it’s also used for cooking and bathing, so it can interact with a person’s health in different ways. The absorption through the skin and inhaling the chlorine vapors can also cause issues like allergies, breathing problems, irritation of the eyes and skin, and eczema.

Pros and Cons of Chloramine

Lately, many municipalities have started using chloramine as a disinfectant because it has proven to be more effective in reducing the amount of bacteria and germs in the water. Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia that stays longer in water than chlorine and creates fewer byproducts. In shorter terms, chloramine is safer than chlorine because it not only reduces the levels of harmful pollutants but also eliminates the risks of suffering from side effects of disinfection byproducts. However, in order to avoid chloramine becoming hazardous, it must be kept below 4 milligrams per water liter.
Compared to chlorine, the use of chloramine has resulted more beneficial in protecting against waterborne diseases. It’s more efficient in killing bacteria and it poses little to no risks to people’s health. However, you must know that it can be dangerous for fish and other aquatic pets but it doesn’t threaten the health of dogs and cats.
Besides being better than chlorine, there are also some drawbacks in the water disinfection with chloramine and the most disturbing one is the bad taste and odor it gives the water. The ammonia in its composition makes the water smell and taste bad, similar to the water found in swimming pools that smells awfully strong.
Another disadvantage is that it’s harder to filter even with a professional water filter because most filters don’t include a media that could absorb this disinfectant. If chlorine can be eliminated with the help of a water filter with a special cartridge, things are different when it comes to removing chloramine from the water.
Last, but not least, it’s important to know that chloramine is highly dangerous for people suffering from kidney and liver diseases because it can cause ammonia toxicity that increases the levels of uric acid in the blood.

The conclusion is that no matter how effective chlorine and chloramine can be in removing certain impurities from the water, long-term and extensive use of these substances by the public water systems can have repercussions on the health of the people who use the water from that supply. As such, it’s recommended to avoid using water that has been treated with these substances. If not possible, a water filtration system that can retain them is helpful for ensuring a higher water quality.

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