The Hazards of Drinking Chlorinated Water

hazards of drinking tap water

Drinking Chlorinated Water May Destroy Your Health

We may have been told that it is safe to drink water straight from the tap, but there are small amounts of contaminants as well as water treatment additives, such as chlorine which can be very hazardous to our health if consumed over time. Since 1904, adding chlorine has been the standard in water treatment but the long term effects of drinking chlorinated water have just being recognized. Chlorine and its derivatives used to kill bacteria in drinking water supplies has been link to serious health problems in human, including dementia in elderly patients.[1]

Drinking Chlorinated water undermines the immune system

Yes, chlorine does kill potentially harmful microorganisms and has been responsible for preventing water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and hepatitis caused by drinking contaminated water. However, it is effectively a powerful pesticide and has an adverse effect on living things. Chlorine destroys friendly bacteria in the gut that are central to a healthy immune system. The major role of friendly bacteria is in balancing and counteracting the unfriendly bacteria. When friendly bacteria are not at appropriate levels, and when unfriendly bacteria dominate, health problems can result. These include gas, bloating, intestinal toxicity, constipation, and malabsorption of nutrients.

Drinking Chlorinated water can cause cancers 

“Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.” U.S. Council of Environmental Quality

Drinking chlorinated water is associated with increased risk of bladder and rectal cancers. This may be due to the fact that our bladder and rectum store waste products for periods of time. In 1998, the US National Cancer Institute found that male smokers who drink chlorinated water for 40 years and more has twice the propensity to contract bladder cancer than male smokers who drink non chlorinated water.[2] Another study revealed that the rate of rectal cancer increases with the duration of chlorinated water consumption.[3]

Drinking chlorinated water can cause heart disease

In his book Coronaries/Cholesterol/Chlorine, Dr. J.M Price MD demonstrates with facts after facts that “the cause of arteriosclerosis and resulting heart attacks and strokes is none other than the ubiquitous chlorine in our drinking water.” He explains, “The highly reactive nature of the chlorine molecule scars the arterial intima [the inner lining of the artery]. The body protects itself by painting a thin film of cholesterol over the damaged area. It’s not the cholesterol that kills; it’s the continual need for protection against the scars that eventually gets out of hand.”

Water Chlorination produces toxic Disinfection Byproducts which are even more dangerous than chlorine itself

Another problem with using chlorine to sanitize both public water supplies and swimming pools is that it reacts with natural substances already dissolved in the water, forming Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) which are even more toxic than chlorine itself. Many of these unintended byproducts are linked to damaging effects to heart, lung, kidney and central nervous system.[4] Some are considered as possible cancer causing agents.

Drinking chlorinated water associated with birth defects

A Norwegian study of 141,000 births over a three year period found the risk of spina bifida increased 14 percent in areas with chlorinated water.[5] A research team of scientists from the University of Birmingham analyzed the birth registry details of nearly 400,000 babies born in Taiwan between 2001 and 2003 and reported that chlorine in tap water nearly doubles the risk of birth defects.[6]

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Why showering may be hazardous to your health

Not only are we exposed to these hazardous chemicals when we drink chlorinated water, they are also the unseen dangers lurking in every shower. Most people aren’t aware that when you shower, your exposure to chlorine and DBPs is dramatically increased. Gases become less soluble in hot water. When we have a hot shower or run a bath, we can sometimes smell the chlorine as it escapes from the hot water.

In the ill-ventilated confines of the shower room, the chlorine concentration in the air increases steadily as we continue our hot shower. Studies showed that the steam inhaled during a shower can contain up to 20 times the concentration of chlorine and DBPs as tap water. Inhalation is a very harmful means of exposure since the chlorine gas we inhale goes directly into our blood stream. Chlorine vapors can be a strong respiratory irritant and is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children.

Moreover, a hot shower opens up the pores and allows for accelerated absorption of chlorine and other chlorinated compounds when chlorine reacts with the natural oils in the skin.The following demonstrates how readily our skin absorbs toxic chemicals from water.

Chlorine in shower water also robs our skin and hair of moisture and elasticity, resulting in a less vibrant and youthful appearance.

Swimming in chlorinated swimming pools has also been linked to increased incidents of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.[7] Another study published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences concurred that swimming in chlorinated pools presented an unacceptable cancer risk.[8]

4 Things you can do to Minimize Chlorine and DBP Exposures

1. Filter your own water at home with a high quality filter. There are many kinds of water filters in the market. Choose a filter certified to remove chlorine and other found in your water. Be sure to change your water filters on time. Old filters aren’t safe as they harbor bacteria and let contaminants through.

2. Install a shower filter to remove hazardous chlorine from tap water and prevent the formation of toxic gaseous byproducts. Remember that warm water causes the pores on our skin to expand and chemicals in the environment are easily absorbed. The volume of water we are exposed to during a 10 minute shower can cause us to absorb more chlorine and dangerous DPBs than drinking eight full glasses of the very same water. If you have to shower with unfiltered tap water, open a window in the bathroom to ventilate when you shower. And be quick.

3. Use Adya Clarity water purification solution to purify water from your tap. Adya Clarity removes 100% of chlorine and reduces disinfection by-products and other toxic contaminants to undetectable limits. Adya Clarity can also be used to treat bath water. You can enjoy the same rejuvenating effects of healing hot springs and mineral springs when you bath in water treated with Adya Clarity.

4. If you have a swimming pool, use ozone or Adya Clarity  instead of chlorine as a sanitizer.

Use Adya Clarity for safe, pure drinking water. Get your Adya products here.


[1]  Siritapetawee J, Pattanasiriwisawa W, Sirithepthawee U. Trace element analysis of hairs in patients with dementia. J Synchrotron Radiat. 2010 Mar;17(2):268-72. doi: 10.1107/S0909049509055319. Epub 2010 Jan 16.

[2] Epidemiology 1998;9(1):21-28, 29-35 Drinking Water Source and Chlorination Byproducts I. Risk of Bladder Cancer by Cantor, Kenneth P.; Lynch, Charks F.; Hildesheim, Mariana; Dosemeci, Mustafa; Lubin, Jay; Alavanja, Michael; Craun, Gunther

[3] Epidemiology 1998;9(1):21-28, 29-35 Drinking Water Source and Chlorination Byproducts II. Risk of Colon and Rectal Cancers by Hildesheim, Mariana E.; Cantor, Kenneth P.; Lynch, Charles F.; Dosemeci, Mustafa; Lubin, Jay; Alavanja, Michael; Craun, Gunther

[4] Southern Data Stream 1998, Trihalomethanes and Our Water Supply by John Capece, Ph.D. Available:

[5] Magnus P1, Jaakkola JJ, Skrondal A, Alexander J, Becher G, Krogh T, Dybing E. 1999, Water chlorination and birth defects. 10(5):513-7.

[6] Chlorine in tap water ‘nearly doubles the risk of birth defects’ by JO MACFARLANE

[7] The Perils of Progress, by John Ashton, Ronald S. Laura

[8], Journal of Environmental Sciences, 2008;20(3):372-8, Panyakapo M, Soontornchai S, Paopuree P, Cancer Risk Assessment from Exposure to Trihalomethanes in Tap Water and in Swimming Pool Water


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