Water is essential to health and is a life-sustaining fluid. However, you can undermine your health if you are drinking water straight out of your tap. When you drink or use tap water, you will be exposed to more contaminants such as fluorine compounds, chlorine, pesticides, assorted hormones, trihalomethanes (THMs), and even trace levels of prescription drugs. Read on to know more about Trihalomethanes in your water.
What are Trihalomethanes (THMs)?
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes trihalomethanes as naturally occurring chemicals that are formed when organic and inorganic materials present in the water react with chlorine, chloramines, and disinfectants. An example of THM is chloroform, which is a well-known carcinogen.
Trihalomethanes are toxic
Trihalomethanes are chemicals that are usually found in water that is treated with chlorine. The THMs concentration usually varies based on the level of organic matter present in your water, the temperature of the water being treated, and the amount of chlorine needed to treat the water. Some water supplies may report THMs levels that are higher than the recommended quantities.
Trihalomethanes are lethal when consumed, for example, if you drink chlorinated water that is not filtered. However, your body may be exposed to more THMs when bathing and showering because the gases we inhale enter directly into our bloodstream. Therefore, taking shorter baths and showers can result in significant reduction of THM exposure. The Aquaox can completely eliminate trihalomethanes from your water.
The Environmental Protection Agency has set an enforceable regulation known as the maximum contaminant level (MCL). MCLs are usually set as close to the health goals as possible considering benefits, costs, and the ability of the public water systems to detect and even remove contaminants with the use of appropriate treatment technologies.
Some people who consume water containing trihalomethanes exceeding the MCL for several years may have an increased risk of cancer, liver, central nervous system, and kidney problems. Clinical and epidemiological reviews published by the National Institutes of Health show that trihalomethanes resulting from chlorinated water are associated with birth defects, low birth weight, and spontaneous abortion.
Exposure to trihalomethanes and chlorine vapors, particularly during bathing and showering, is associated with an increased risk of asthma and it may cause damage to the respiratory tract lining.
Short-term health effects associated with trihalomethanes in drinking water are very rare. Therefore, it is unlikely that any temporarily increased levels of trihalomethanes in your water can result in any health risk.
Research proves that long-term exposure, for example, 35 years or more, and exposure to high levels of THMs can be linked to an increased risk of some types of cancers in humans, especially colon and bladder cancers. However, the evidence is not conclusive.
Filters that reduce THMs levels
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the best available technology for eliminating trihalomethanes in water is Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), in consort with other synthetic chemicals and Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs). To ensure maximum removal of THMs, you should look for water systems that are NSF-certified and have multi-stage filtration and can remove about 95% of chlorine in your water. This will help to reduce the level of chlorine by-products in the water, for example, the trihalomethanes.