Many water systems use chlorine manufacturing companies to produce the chemical for disinfection. There are also other methods that use chlorine such as dry ice and activated carbon. When chlorine is used to treat water, millions of tiny particles called cysts are formed. These cysts are resistant to chlorine disinfection.
The risk from exposure to chlorine is greater when it is used in excess. A few drops of chlorine in a glass of water may kill bacteria. However, continuous use can cause kidney damage. Researchers have shown that chlorine increases the risk of certain types of cancer. Studies have also found an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease among those who used chlorinated water regularly.
If you are serviced by a public treatment facility, make sure that there is no chlorination of your drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency has published recommended limits for the amount of chlorine that facilities can use in order to protect residents from the risks of chlorine's use. This information should be included on your shower door and on the municipal notice sign that warn you about chlorination. You should also learn about the other possible risks from chlorination. Chlorine can also produce byproducts called THMs, which can mimic the effects of hormones. Research has shown that exposure to THMs increases the risk of prostate cancer.
If you are serviced by a private treatment facility, or if you own a business that is connected to one, you need to have a well tested and signed contract stating that your health is not in danger. The terms are specific about what types of health risks you can expect. There are rules regarding the storage and use of THMs and chlorine. You should also know that most facilities to test their waters for bacteria daily. In case of contamination, testing is done immediately.
Most facilities use granular carbon in the production of chlorine. It is the safest way to regulate the amount of chlorine in your tap-water. The granular carbon blocks chlorine molecules from attaching to organic matter in water, such as hair, skin, or eyes. It also slows down the rate at which chlorine attaches to its intended target, which reduces the risk of long-term health risks.
In some cases, industries may decide to add other chemicals to their water in order to kill bacteria. Experts advise that they do not do so because doing so can have adverse consequences on human health. Instead, they should use a disinfection method that is approved by the EPA. These methods include the use of UV light, ion exchange, or UV lamps. However, you should contact your state health department for the definition of a required disinfection method.
As more people are becoming aware of the dangers of exposing themselves to THMs and chlorine, more companies are starting to get rid of chlorine by replacing it with safer alternatives. Today, there are also many new alternatives for the production of chlorine. One example is carbon nanotubes. However, before you decide to use one of these, you should learn more about the pros and cons of using these instead of chlorine manufacturing companies.