Hundreds of different disinfectant byproducts are produced in beverage water after being treated with chlorine and other disinfectants. One of these byproducts is haloacetic acid (HAA5). Many of these by-products can harm the human body. Unfortunately, although cleansing is important to control bacteria and other pathogens, long-term exposure to HAA5 has been associated with adverse health effects associated with pregnancy and cancer.
Haloacetic acids or HAAs/HAA5 are a group of five cleaning by-products (DBPs): dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, bromoacetic acid, and dibromoacetic acid. This is the result of chlorine and/or chloramine reacting with a naturally occurring organic substance found in some water sources during treatment.
There are mainly 3 ways that locate acids can enter your body. First, by ingestion (orally), in other words, drinking water containing haloacetic acids. Second By inhalation (via the nose) some of the halophytic acids can be released into the air of your home when tap water is used. This happens especially when you take a shower or wash the dishes, because the warmer the water, the greater the chance that halophytic acids will be released into the air. Haloacetic acids can also pass through the air when tap water is boiled, such as during the preparation of tea or soup. Finally percutaneous (across the skin), where you could be exposed to haloacetic acids when your skin comes into direct contact with water, for example, when taking a shower, whether at home or in public swimming pools.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), drinking water containing haloacetic acids exceeds the regulatory limit of 60 parts per billion (PPB). Extended exposure to haloacetic acids can lead to liver, kidney, or central nervous system health problems and an increased risk of cancer. Studies have also demonstrated that exposure to HAA5 may harm the growth and development of the fetus during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, haloacetic acids do not affect the smell, appearance, or taste of the water, making them difficult to recognize. Higher levels of these compounds are more likely to be found in groundwater intakes, such as rivers or reservoirs instead of groundwater because soil and rocks act as filters to remove organic material that leads to DBPs.
Public water systems must inform their clients if haloacetic acids exceed the maximum concentration of contaminants (MCL) of 60 PPB. Contacting your local utility or public health department is a good first step in finding contaminants in your drinking water system. In addition, a reliable water test shows you the concentrations of HAA5 in tap water. If you are concerned about haloacetic acids in your drinking water, there are several ways to filter water at home. For example, always make sure the filters you choose are already certified to remove HAA5. The amount of HAA5 in the water was reduced by reverse osmosis filtration. Active carbon is also a good option. While UV filters can be used as a chlorine substitute during central water treatment to avoid the formation of HAA5, they do not remove HAA5 from the water system. This is also true of boiling water. The safest way for facilities is to prevent the formation of HAA5 during water treatment by deploying remediation methods to eliminate natural materials from the water supply before chlorination.