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Understanding and Removing Disinfection Byproducts

Municipal water treatment facilities focus primarily on microbial threats.

That means chemical contaminants can end up in your tap water. Water treatment facilities use disinfectants to kill microbial contaminants, but disinfectants like CHLORINE and CHLORAMINES can leave behind harmful byproducts when they react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter. In addition to tasting bad, they can cause skin and/or eye irritation during bathing. Common undesirable disinfection byproducts (DBPs) from chlorine include haloacetic acids (HAAs) and the trihalomethanes (THMs) chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and tribromomethane/ bromoform; however, over 600 water disinfection byproducts have been identified from chlorinated tap water


While chlorine is essential for water disinfection, excessive levels of THMs and HAAs can pose health risks and are known irritants. Prolonged exposure to elevated THM levels has been associated with a variety of health concerns, including an increased risk of cancer and adverse effects on the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. Pregnant women and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of THMs, as they can potentially disrupt fetal development. HAAs are associated with adverse developmental and reproductive effects.


While water disinfection is a necessary step to reduce microbial contaminants, it’s important to be aware of the byproducts left behind from this process. Water treatment facilities are continuously working to minimize DBP formation through improved processes and alternative disinfection methods.

By complementing these efforts with a reliable water filter from The Vätten Company, you can take proactive steps towards improving the taste and quality of your family's health and well-being. Let us help you find the best water filtration solution by taking our water filter quiz!



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