My buddy and I were discussing the merits of filtering drinking water. She has some thyroid issues and chlorine is a bad thing for the thyroid. She is also on a budget so wanted to know if it was necessary to filter our drinking water.
She asked me if leaving tap water out overnight will off-gas the chlorine from the water. Would it be chlorine free by the time you drink it? So, I delved into what turned out to be a rather complex topic. Here's what I found out.
Here's a quote from an article from High Times:
'It’s no longer enough to leave your tap water out for day to let the chlorine evaporate, because water is being treated with chloramine, which takes so long to evaporate that other methods of removal or neutralization are needed.
For a lot of reasons, chloramine sanitizes water more effectively than simple chlorine gas. In fact, chloramine’s slow evaporation rate is one of the reasons it’s used instead of chlorine. Taking this into account, gardeners and clean water lovers alike need other methods of removing this noxious compound.'
Okay, Here's a quote from ThoughtCo. about the merits of chlorine and it's dangers for human consumption:
Chlorine is a highly efficient disinfectant, and it is added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria that the water or its transport pipes might contain.... But Harrison says that all this disinfecting has not come without a price: Chlorine introduced into the water supply reacts with other naturally-occurring elements to form toxins called trihalomethanes (THMs), which eventually make their way into our bodies.
THMs have been linked to a wide range of human health maladies ranging from asthma and eczema to bladder cancer and heart disease. In addition, Dr. Peter Montague of the Environmental Research Foundation cites several studies linking moderate to heavy consumption of chlorinated tap water by pregnant women with higher miscarriage and birth defect rates.
Need more proof? Here's what the Canadian Cancer Society has to say about tap water and cancer.
For decades, researchers have studied the long-term effects of using chlorinated tap water. Most studies have shown that when people are exposed to chlorinated water over long periods of time, it slightly increases their risk of bladder cancer. Some studies have also found links to colorectal cancer, but we need more research to be sure of this link.
Several chlorination by-products are possible causes of cancer. Studies have shown that trihalomethanes (THMs) and halo acetic acids (HAAs), which are the most common chlorination by-products, can cause cancer in laboratory animals.
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends the following:
You may be able to reduce your exposure to chlorination by-products by:
However, levels of chlorination by-products may not be reduced by all types of products mentioned here. And you can still be exposed to by-products when you shower or swim in a pool treated with chlorine.
If you choose to use these types of products, make sure they are certified to National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards. Also change the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid contamination from bacteria and other microbes.
Okay, so this has been my reason for using a water filter. Right now, I am using a Brita filter but see the importance of having a complete filtration system and avoiding chlorinated pools. Especially if you have any issues with your thyroid. For more on thyroid health, check out my article: How to Support your Thyroid.