Cut Back on Chlorine in Water

Lynn Keiley shares information about how the U.S. needs to cut back on chlorine in water, and why using a water filter in your home may help.

To cut back on chlorine in water consider using a countertop water distiller.

To cut back on chlorine in water consider using a countertop water distiller.

PHOTO: WATERWISE

Content Tools

Learn about how you can cut back on chlorine in water in your own home.

Cut Back on Chlorine in Water

Chlorine is added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing microbes. But as our rivers, lakes and streams become increasingly polluted, municipalities are trying to remedy problems by adding increasing amounts of the chemical. Chlorine reacts with organic matter in the water supply to create byproducts that have been linked to birth defects and an increased incidence of miscarriages in pregnant women. According to an assessment conducted jointly by the Environmental Working Group and U.S. Public Interest Research Group, from 1996 to 2001 more than 16 million people in 1,258 communities depended on water supplies contaminated with chlorine byproducts that exceeded legal limits for at least 12 months in a row. The solution to this problem, says the EWG, is to clean up our water supplies. While you may not be able to single-handedly clean up your local river, you can protect yourself and your family with a simple activated carbon filter. Just be sure to change the filter regularly so you don't end up adding back the bacteria that the chlorine was supposed to kill in the first place.