Cancer and Water
In 1992 the American Journal of Public Health published a report that showed a 15% to 35% increase in certain types of cancer for people who consume chlorinated water. This report also stated that much of these effects were due to showering in chlorinated water. Up to half of your chlorine consumption in a day is in the shower (Through open skin pores.
The National Cancer Institute estimates cancer risks for people who consume chlorinated water to be up to 93% higher than for people who do not. The effects of consuming chlorinated water have been debated for decades. However, most experts now agree that there are some significant risks related to consuming chlorine and chlorinated by-products in drinking water.
Every day, cases of cancer are rising in astounding and unprecedented numbers. While medical professionals work tirelessly to find a cure for this most deadly of diseases, the numbers of terminally ill patients continue to climb. Although the cure for cancer continues to elude medical professionals, it is completely within our own power to protect our families and ourselves and to reduce our risks whenever possible.
In recent years, individuals have begun to seriously examine known carcinogens and to protect themselves from these cancer-causing agents. Sunscreen has become an important defense against skin cancer, and its use is on the rise. The number of smokers attempting to quit rises each day, precisely because of new information about the carcinogenic nature of cigarettes.
The increase in such protective behaviors clearly indicates an increased interest in protecting oneself from cancer risks. Still, droves of people continue to use and drink unfiltered tap water, not knowing about or not believing in the insidious nature of this substance. Whether we like it or not, the water that emerges from our taps, however pristine it may appear, is filled with carcinogenic compounds. A simple water filter can now serve as a valuable safeguard against cancer.
Chlorine and tap water
Untreated tap water is filled with such dangerous contaminants as nitrate, arsenic, microorganisms, and chemicals from pesticide runoff. Once this water reaches a municipal treatment plant, many contaminants are removed. However, one of the most dangerous contaminants is actually added to drinking water as a part of the treatment process.
Chlorine, added as an inexpensive and effective drinking water disinfectant, is also a known poison to the body. It is certainly no coincidence that chlorine gas was used with deadly effectiveness as a weapon in the First World War. This gas was known to severely burn the lungs and other body tissues when inhaled; it is no less powerful when ingested by mouth. Each day, as we use unfiltered tap water, we are effectively pouring bleach into our water before we drink it.
This poisonous chemical, accompanied by its byproducts, is now known to cause at least three types of cancers, among other serious health problems. The U.S. Council of Environmental Quality recently released a report stating that the risk of cancer is 93% higher among those drinking chlorinated water than among those not drinking chlorinated water! In the following paragraphs, you can read about the specific cancer risks of chlorinated water and learn how to protect your family and yourself from this insidious poison.
Bladder and rectal cancer
Chlorine has long been known to be a leading cause of bladder and rectal cancer. Once in water, chlorine interacts with organic compounds to create trihalomethanes (THMs). These THMs are particularly harmful to the body when ingested. When taken into the body, THMs encourage the production of free radicals. These free radicals proceed to destroy or damage vital cells in the body. Because so much of the water we drink ends up in the bladder and/or rectum, ingestions of THMs in drinking water is particularly damaging to these organs. THMs cause innumerable cases of bladder and rectal cancer each year.
Bladder and rectal cancer occur when malignant cells, often created by THMs, infect the inner tissues of the particular organ. Once they have taken hold in the bladder or rectum, the malignant cells can isolate themselves in the infected area or they can spread to infect other areas of the body, potentially causing more deadly forms of cancer. Each year, 13,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in women while 37,000 new cases are diagnosed in men. Of these 50,000 new cases each year, slightly more than 20% of individuals will die from the disease. For rectal cancer, more than 40,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and approximately 55% of those individuals diagnosed will die from the disease.
Ironically, one of the best means of protection against these two types of cancer is drinking plenty of fluids. However, drinking larger amounts of contaminated water only exacerbates the risk.
Breast cancer is the newest type of cancer to be connected to ingestion of chlorinated water. Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in the United States alone, and it kills approximately _ of its victims.
Recent research has linked this deadly cancer to a buildup of chlorine compounds in the breast tissue. In a shocking study conducted in Hartford, Connecticut, researchers found that “women with breast cancer have 50% to 60% higher levels of organochlorines (chlorination byproducts) in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer.” While chlorine can make its way into our bodies in several ways, there is no means of access more common or more frequent than the ingestion of common, unfiltered tap water.
A Simple Solution
One preventive solution to these three deadly cancers could not be simpler. If chlorinated drinking water is a leading cause of cancer, then the obvious method of reducing one’s risk of cancer is to refrain from drinking chlorinated water. We cannot choose whether or not to drink water, but we can choose the type of water we allow into our bodies.
Municipal water treatment plants add chlorine to water to help make it cleaner and more pure, but once that chlorine has performed its function, there is certainly no reason for it to continue its deadly presence in drinking water.
A simple home water filter removes chlorine and its byproducts from drinking water, producing clean, pure drinking water that can also serve as a useful protection against cancer.
Water filters are one of the only methods of water purification capable of removing chlorine. Under the bench water filters can effectively remove known carcinogens for drinking.
However why not filter all the water coming into your home. Showering and bathing in chlorinated water increases the risk of cancer causing carcinogens working in your family. These are now very common as more people take a proactive approach to the water they are using in there home. Ring us on 0800 787 392 and we can come and give you a free onsite appraisal and let you know the best way to protect your home.
More on cancer
A population-based case-control study in Nova Scotia and eastern Ontario found more than a two-fold increased risk of stillbirth for women whose residence’s had 80 ppb (parts per billion) THM (trihalomethanes) level or higher. Note: the EPA limit is 80 ppb total THM.
A case-control study in Iowa found a 2.4-fold elevated risk of rectal cancer among men, but not women, who had long-term exposure to chlorinated surface water and had a low fiber diet, compared to men with no exposure to chlorinated surface water and a high fiber diet. Men with a high fiber diet and exposure to chlorinated surface water did not have elevated risk of rectal cancer either, indicating that dietary factors can help decrease the risk of detrimental effects of environmental chemical exposure.
A pooled analysis of 6 case-control studies of bladder cancer found that men, but not women, who were exposed to any THM (1 ppb compared to no exposure) had a significant 24 percent increase in risk of bladder cancer.
A very recent study from Spain found significant increased risk of bladder cancer upon exposure to water with levels of THM commonly found in industrial countries. Drinking it, bathing and showering in it, and swimming in it all increased risk of bladder cancer.