While chlorine (a chemical also found in household bleach) is a disinfectant that kills germs, it may also pose health hazards. Chlorine reacts with the leftover organic waste products in water to form a possible carcinogen, Trihalomethanes, which may increase the risk of bladder and rectal cancers. Chlorine vapors can be inhaled through shower steam (so ventilate your shower well) and even absorbed through the skin during showering with chlorinated water. (You can eliminate this risk by placing an inexpensive, replaceable, activated-charcoal carbon filter in the shower head and by using a chlorine-free-ozone filtration system in your pool or spa). There is also the possibility that chlorine is used to kill germs in water, might upset the balance between harmful & useful bacteria in the human intestines, perhaps even killing the weaker bacteria and allowing the stronger, and sometimes more harmful ones, to multiply unchecked. While chlorination of the water supply has eliminated public health problems, such as water borne outbreaks of cholera and hepatitis, the question about the overall safety of chlorination is still unanswered.
More Facts 1. There are 35,000 pesticides containing 600 chemicals compounds. Yet municipal water systems are only required to test for six. Many of these chemicals are known to cause birth defect, nerve damage, sterility and cancer.
2. The General Accounting Office reports that 20% of the nation's 65,000 community systems are unable to meet minimum standers set by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
3. More than 700 organic chemicals have been identified in drinking water, and some of them are suspected cancer causing agents.
4. A recent government study found that more than 25% of all large U.S. public water systems contain traces of one or more toxic substances. Public water systems do not test for the carcinogens and other dangerous chemical that are being found.