Do you drink water straight from the tap? Do you shower in it or do your dishes with it? Then this blog is for you!
You might not give the water in your home much thought. It’s clear and seems to taste alright. So it must be safe, right? Wrong! Most homes in the US use water that has been treated with chlorine. But chlorine isn’t the only thing that might be lurking in the tap water. DBPs, or disinfection byproducts, are contaminants found in nearly every municipal water supply that adds chlorine to the water. These contaminants are more than 100 times as toxic as chlorine.
Now, chlorine has given us the ability to treat water to make it free from harmful diseases like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. Chlorine by itself is relatively harmless. In fact, it’s similar to chloride ion in salt. But it’s what happens when it reacts with organic material that is already dissolved in the water that changes chlorine into harmful DBPs.
Chemicals like this are persistent. It’s good news when we’re talking about cleaning water through old pipes and getting it into your home. But it also means that it doesn’t break down like other sanitizing agents. And chemicals like this also tend to be very toxic. In fact, Americans ingest anywhere from 300 to 600 times what the Environmental Protection Agency considers a “safe” amount of chlorine. This has lead to the term “chlorine pollution.”
Research has shown that the health effects from the DBPs created during water chlorination can be very dangerous. One of the top health effects is a 93 percent higher chance of cancer versus those whose water does not contain chlorine.
Other health effects from chlorinated water can include:
- Cancer (Particularly bladder, intestinal, and anal cancers)
- Heart attack
- Immune system injury
- Reproductive issues
- Birth defects
- Allergic reaction
These health effects aren’t just limited to drinking water. When you take a shower in warm water, your skin becomes like a sponge. In fact, you can absorb more chlorine and DBPs in a 10 minute shower than by drinking eight glasses of the same water. Exposure to these chemicals in your daily shower can also take a toll on your everyday life. Chlorine and DBPs can irritate your eyes, sinuses, and throat. It can also dry out your hair and skin, damage hair cuticles and cause dandruff!
Your kitchen isn’t off the hook either. The puff of steam that comes out of the dishwasher after you open the door on a newly cleaned load? That’s toxic volatilized chlorine and DBPs from detergent and tap water being released into the air, causing pollution right in your home. In fact, your family can be exposed to these contaminants every time they:
- Take a shower or bath
- Wash their hands
- Run a load of laundry
- Wash dishes
- Rinse fruit, veggies, or other food
So what can you do to protect you and your family? Don’t worry, Strittmatters is here to help. We will continue to blog about this topic providing you tips and information on water purification.
One step you can take to work towards safe water is to look into installing a home-based water filtration system. With a water purification system like this, you can be confident that the water used throughout your home is safe and free from harmful chlorine and DBPs.
Got more questions about how to keep the water in your home safe? Give us a call at 940-566-1122. We’d love to chat with you about your water safety and what we can do to help.