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Should you drink chlorinated water?

Chlorination is the most common water treatment method in the world. Chlorine has been added into public water systems since the 1800s. There are a number of waterborne diseases that can potentially infiltrate water systems, and adding chlorine has proven to kill bacteria and significantly lower the number of contractions of diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid.

But is it safe for you?

In small amounts, chlorine is presumed to be safe for human consumption. However, with access to water being easier now, a few hundred years later, people are ingesting way more than they should; approximately 300-600 times the safe amount of chlorine.

According to the Food Network Revolution, when chlorine mixes with even tiny amounts of organic compounds that are very often found in water, harmful by-products called Trihalomethanes (THMs) are produced. THMs produce free radicals in the body, which trigger cell damage — and are highly carcinogenic, even in trace amounts.

Now, the overconsumption of chlorine has been linked to a number of ailments. These include cancer, asthma, cell damage and kidney damage and skin burns.

Potentially dangerous for children

Several studies suggest that drinking and long-term exposure to chlorinated water can potentially increase the risk of asthmatic attacks, particularly in children who do not have improved airway systems, says Filter Water.

Heart health

Scientist, Dr Joseph Price, conducted a study to see the link between chlorine consumption and heart failure. The study was performed with the use of chickens, and after exposure to chlorine, their cardiovascular health was tested.

Price used two groups of chickens to determine the cause of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaque), which can restrict blood flow. The plaque can burst and release a clot into the bloodstream. In humans, this is the main cause of heart disease, strokes and heart attacks.

In the study, one group of chickens was given chlorine-contaminated water to drink while the other went without.

The chickens that consumed the contaminated water showed some levels of heart and circulatory diseases. The results persisted into winter. The same group further displayed symptoms of poor circulation, reduced activity levels and shivering and other indicators of deteriorated health. The group that went without chlorine grew up much faster and displayed vigorous health, the study said.

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