We are searching data for your request:
How dangerous is chlorine in tap water?
German drinking water areas suffer from rainy weather, including Munich. Its municipal utilities have decided to disinfect drinking water using chlorine. However, the question remains open: Does chlorine in tap water harm human health?
Chlorine in drinking water: how much is allowed? "It is a precautionary measure," emphasized the Stadtwerke München. They are now using chlorine to fight drinking water from the Mangfall Valley, the source of around 80 percent of Munich's drinking water. Due to the high rainfall, the soil there is softened, gutters and gullies are overcrowded. Because contaminated surface water threatens to flow into the reservoirs, chlorine is now added. An approach that has become rare in this country.
Chlorine is intended to ensure that there is no faecal germ in the drinking water. Checkers check their load according to the so-called “indicator principle”. The pointer germ E. coli serves as an aid. Although some germs of this type are harmless, E. coli must not occur once in 100 milliliters of water. With chlorine or chlorine dioxide, water suppliers worldwide reduce the risk of such pollution. The German Drinking Water Ordinance allows at least 0.3 milligrams of chlorine per liter of water. In other countries, the values are sometimes significantly higher.
Risks of chlorine in drinking water But chlorine is not free of side effects either: A permanently high concentration can lead to by-products such as trichloromethane. Several investigations have shown that they should increase the risk of cancer slightly. Even if the concentration cannot be transferred to German conditions, the fear of consumers remains. "Recent scientific research suggests that exposure to these by-products before birth increases the risk of birth defects," quotes Dr. Hans-Joachim Paulski the result of a study by the University of Birmingham.
Dr. Ingrid Chorus from the Federal Environment Agency explains: "Depending on the quality of the raw water, by-products that are suspected to be carcinogenic can form after chlorination. However, if you drink this water for a short time, it is extremely unlikely that these effects However, it has been clearly proven that germs in drinking water transmit dangerous diseases, so chlorination of drinking water is the lesser evil where the presence of pathogens cannot be ruled out with certainty. "
Drinking water quality Germany: pioneer in international comparison German drinking water is of consistently high quality. According to an investigation by the Federal Ministry of Health in 2012, 99 percent of the legal requirements were met. The required limit values were therefore only exceeded in a few exceptional cases, among other things by pesticides or coliform bacteria. Drinking water can therefore be consumed in Germany without hesitation. "The qualitative characteristics still only get top marks," said the President of the German Federal Environment Agency Jochen Flasbarth.
However, what applies to German utilities cannot be transferred abroad. Depending on the region, there are sometimes high levels of industrial pollutants in tap water, for example on the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The World Health Organization estimates that unclean water is responsible for 80 percent of all travel diseases. Travel medicine specialist Dr. When in doubt, Helmut Jäger advises to boil the water quality. This kills harmful germs, and chlorine added by water suppliers is evaporated. (lb)
Image: Lupo / pixelio.de