Dangers of Drinking Chlorinated Water

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The High Risk of Chlorinated Drinking Water

Do you know what’s in your drinking water?

A recent Johns Hopkins study discovered carcinogenic toxins in American tap water treated with chlorine.1 These newly found chemicals are byproducts that occur when disinfectants (like chlorine) combine with phenolic chemicals.

Some phenols occur naturally, while others are residues from pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and industrial waste. The mixture of phenols and chlorine creates highly toxic cancer-causing disinfection byproducts.1

Drinking Water: The Dilemma!

While this new study questions use of chlorine as a water disinfectant, scientists remind us of the life-saving benefits of chlorinated drinking water and the global need to disinfect water.

For example, in 2009, the World Health Organization reported that, every year, more than 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases, making it the leading cause of disease and death around the world.3

Another report, commissioned by the United Nations, showed 4,000 children die each day as a result of diseases caused by ingesting filthy water. The report says four out of 10 people in the world, particularly in Africa and Asia, do not have clean water to drink.3

In the medical journal The Lancet, researchers concluded poor water sanitation and lack of safe drinking water take a greater human toll than war, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction combined.3

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Chlorine + Phenols: A Challenging Problem

The Lancet study points the finger not at chlorine itself, but at the cancer causing microscopic byproducts that occur when chlorine combines with phenols.

Thousands of naturally occurring plant-based phenolic compounds act as antioxidants in nature. They function to stop reaction of free radicals with other molecules in your body, preventing damage to your DNA, as well as supporting long-term health.2

In nature, phenols are attached to other molecules and become stable compounds that we all have learned to be healthy, such as bioflavonoids, resveratrol, tocopherols (vitamin E), and others, like thymols found in oregano.2 When phenols break away from these compounds, they become pure phenols and, in that form, are toxic. When combined with chlorine, they become carcinogens.1,3-5

Pure phenols are also used in medicine as nerve blocks, sterile agents, analgesics, personal care products, and preservatives, and are also found in many pharmaceutical products, which all find their way into public drinking water.2

The risk of disinfection byproducts from the combination of pure phenols and chlorine in water has been a concern since the seventies. The most common disinfection byproduct removed by water treatment plants since the eighties is chloroform.6

Today, the problem is that these newly identified disinfection byproducts, called BDA (2-butene-1,4-dial and chloro-2-butene-1,4-dial) are so small and light, they blend in with other naturally occurring dissolved particles in water. BDAs have never been found in drinking water before now. They are very toxic known carcinogens.4

Based on reduced use of chlorine for water treatment in other places (like Europe), researchers now question the need for water chlorination at all. In Europe, where chlorination is not used as frequently, their water is still free from waterborne illnesses.4

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Safe Drinking Water: Finding a Solution

Researchers are looking at alternative methods to disinfect drinking water. Clearly, fresh spring water that has never been chlorinated will be your best option. Bottled spring water, as long as it has not been chlorinated, should be okay as well. Phenols occur naturally in all water supplies, so you can’t avoid them. It is the chlorine you need to avoid.

My second choice for water is sourcing a filter that will tackle not only chlorine, but fluoride as well, like a ZeroWater filter or similar system. Fluoride is a very small molecule, and most systems do not remove it. Filtering water to zero dissolved particles may be the best option besides finding clean spring water that has never been chlorinated.

Clearly, much more research needs to be done here.

Find a Spring

If you ask around your local health food store, you may find out there is a local spring you can source your water from.

You can also find a spring in your area online at findaspring.com.

If you live in the Denver-Boulder area, try my favorite spring. It is a rare spring, called the Wideawake Spring in the Rocky Mountains and it is free of any petrochemicals or atmospheric radiation that contaminates most ground waters. Learn more at unclecharliesranch.com.

Where do you get your water? And how do you feel about it?

References

  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.9b04926
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-phenol#benefits
  3. https://www.voanews.com/archive/who-waterborne-disease-worlds-leading-killer
  4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200128142744.htm
  5. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/02/03/tap-water-chlorine-may-have-cancer-link-johns-hopkins-study/2854631001/
  6. https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/20013N1N.txt?ZyActionD=ZyDocument&Client=EPA&Index=Prior%20to%201976&Docs=&Query=&Time=&EndTime=&SearchMethod=1&TocRestrict=n&Toc=&TocEntry=&QField=&QFieldYear=&QFieldMonth=&QFieldDay=&UseQField=&IntQFieldOp=0&ExtQFieldOp=0&XmlQuery=&File=D%3A%5CZYFILES%5CINDEX%20DATA%5C70THRU75%5CTXT%5C00000004%5C20013N1N.txt&User=ANONYMOUS&Password=anonymous&SortMethod=h%7C-&MaximumDocuments=1&FuzzyDegree=0&ImageQuality=r75g8/r75g8/x150y150g16/i425&Display=hpfr&DefSeekPage=x&SearchBack=ZyActionL&Back=ZyActionS&BackDesc=Results%20page&MaximumPages=1&ZyEntry=12&slide

9 thoughts on “Dangers of Drinking Chlorinated Water”

  1. “clearly more research needs to be done here”? all the research i need is that back when i used poisoned tooth paste, i would always see the dentist! there is this thing called disbelief.. and disbelief can not be cured by evidence because evidence just cures doubt! Disbelief is caused by the love of mammon, which in turn is caused by desire, adultery….which is a direct result of over eating and drinking…

    weird to see no mention of the wows of plastic in water, salt, air…hopefully you get the idea..

    I remember i went into debt to buy a reverse osmosis filter, but now the buzz is hydrogen water.. one of the strongest antioxidants… busts coffee and any other marketed crap like a Belarusian insolent mosquito!

    Reply
    • Now in USA reverse osmosis is cheaper then in EU because they use good filters, made in Minnesota? Also, in Europe, they don’t need to worry much for multiple pre filters, because extrem Chlorinations in USA, are destroying membrane of filters fast. Germans absolutely don’t recommend putting metal pipe or extra filter, after filtration. Reverse osmosis is very poor in minerals and it will leach metals from pipes.
      What I am experiencing with chlorination in midwest, only full hause filtration system is a minimum solution. Without shower filter, after taking hot shower, my nose will start running, because body is trying to eliminate toxin before reaching brain?

      Reply
        • let me remember..back in 2014, (still had to start page:) ).. the filter cost around a bit more than 1000$ and after the scum bag Obama made the sanctions on Russia, the dream company, i worked for, closed down and i had to pay about a 100$ monthly over the year while jobless… so cheap is for someone who earns more than 2000$/month, not a common salary in a socialist country.. and the filter has one cartridge from your home country
          now to what benefits you… after watching over a hundred of hours of documentaries and reading, listening… apple cider vinegar is what binds to glyphosate and helps excrete it!
          and as a precaution, meat, veggies, fruit, dried fruit, fish.. all need to be soaked, at least 20 mins, in apple cider vinegar, soda, or in a ozone generating machines, which costs less than 20$ (on aliexpress), now that i would call cheap!, and don’t buy the vinegar in plastic bottles!

          Reply
  2. Zerowater does not remove phenols – they have not tested for that according to tkheir FQA. Good article DrJ. Thanks
    Martin

    Reply
  3. yeah i remember my grandmother telling me that she speken de deutsh or polska.. but i’m talking about the most effective
    https://www.bluefilters.com/en/41-drinking-water
    it has 3 carbon filters that need to be changed twice a year for over a 50$ x 2..
    and in the coming days they are planning to change the 3 mineral filters, also over a 50$, once a year…
    i was offered by someone in the bazaar, that he could install cheap carbon filters which would cost in the region of 25$… but i don’t think it is worth the risk especially with all the antidepressants and similar crap, and to mention the plastic in the water supply..

    Reply
  4. yeah i remember my grandmother telling me that she speken de deutsh or polska.. but i’m talking about the most effective
    https://www.bluefilters.com/en/41-drinking-water
    it has 3 carbon filters that need to be changed twice a year for over a 50$ x 2..
    and in the coming days they are planning to change the 3 mineral filters, also over a 50$, once a year…
    i was offered by someone in the bazaar, that he could install cheap carbon filters which would cost in the region of 25$… but i don’t think it is worth the risk especially with all the antidepressants and similar crap, and to mention the plastic in the water supply..

    Reply

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