A new study by Johns Hopkins University has found that the common drinking water that Americans come into daily contact with may contain unexpected highly toxic compounds. It is reported that the problem is related to the disinfection process before drinking water is injected into the water pipe. While chlorine-filled water can help millions of people avoid deadly water-borne diseases, they do have unintended consequences.
(Photo by Marissa Lanterman / Johns Hopkins University)
If the intake of contaminated drinking water, or lead to typhoid, malaria and other water borne diseases. These can be fatal for children and the elderly.
Thousands of people are said to have lost their lives each year to dirty drinking water. Chlorine is used as a water treatment method to effectively kill pathogens.
But a new study recently published in the journal Environmental Sciences and Technology shows:
Chlorine is used to treat drinking water or produce ‘highly toxic by-products’ in the presence of phenols.”
Because these compounds are extremely common in medicines and hygiene products, they are also common in water bodies.
But when phenol is mixed with chlorine, a ‘large number of by-products’ are produced.
The researchers behind the project are working to identify the final compound, a process involving the chlorination of water.
It is treated in the same way as drinking water, and then a compound is added that is very similar to lysine in the human body.
After a day of ‘incubating’ the mixture, the team analyzed the chemicals using mass spectrometry.
As a result, the researchers found two BDA compounds and known carcinogens described as ‘highly toxic’ in the water.
It is reported that this is the first time that researchers have found BDA compounds in chlorinated water, raising questions about the adverse effects of current water treatment methods (and the preferable of other filtration methods).