Water Disinfectants -- Byproducts -- and Health Effects


Disinfectants
Many water suppliers add a disinfectant to drinking water to kill germs such as giardia and
e coli. Especially after heavy rainstorms, your water system may add more disinfectant to guarantee that these
germs are killed.

Chlorine. Some people who use drinking water containing chlorine well in excess of EPA's standard could
experience irritating effects to their eyes and nose.  Some people who drink water containing chlorine well in
excess of EPA's standard could experience stomach discomfort.

Chloramine. Some people who use drinking water containing chloramines well in excess of EPA's standard
could experience irritating effects to their eyes and nose.  Some people who drink water containing
chloramines well in excess of EPA's standard could experience stomach discomfort or anemia.

Chlorine Dioxide. Some infants and young children who drink water containing chlorine dioxide in excess of
EPA's standard could experience nervous system effects.  Similar effects may occur in fetuses of pregnant
women who drink water containing chlorine dioxide in excess of EPA's standard.  Some people may experience
anemia.



Disinfection Byproducts
Disinfection byproducts form when disinfectants added to drinking water to kill germs react with
naturally-occuring organic matter in water.
Total Trihalomethanes. Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of EPA's standard
over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous systems, and may have
an increased risk of getting cancer.

Haloacetic Acids. Some people who drink water containing haloacetic acids in excess of EPA's standard over
many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Bromate. Some people who drink water containing bromate in excess of EPA's standard over many years may
have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Chlorite. Some infants and young children who drink water containing chlorite in excess of EPA's standard
could experience nervous system effects.  Similar effects may occur in fetuses of pregnant women who drink
water containing chlorite in excess of EPA's standard.  Some people may experience anemia.