The American Journal of Epidemiology…

Study Shows Increased Risks of Bladder Cancer by Drinking, Bathing, or Swimming in Chlorinated Water…

Dr. Christina Villanueva and her team report that these chemicals may be harmful when inhaled or absorbed through the skin and ingested. Chlorinated water is a known carcinogen, but the study is one of the first to show that exposure to small amounts of chlorine may also increase risks of bladder cancer via another route: bathing in it.

The chemicals used to disinfect water, most notably chlorine, can produce by-products linked to increased cancer risks. For example, the researchers found that the more frequently people bathed or swam in chlorinated water, the higher their risk for bladder cancer. They also found that people who drank chlorinated water during the first year of life were at greater risk of developing bladder cancer as adults than those who did not. The most prevalent chlorination by-product, trihalomethanes (THM), can be absorbed into the body through skin contact or inhalation.

The researchers matched 1,219 men and women with bladder cancer to 1,271 individuals who did not have the disease. Then they investigated how much lifetime exposure these people had to trihalomethanes (THM), a disinfection by-product formed when chlorine reacts with organic matter in drinking water. First, the researchers surveyed them about their exposure to chlorinated water via drinking water and swimming pools, then analyzed the average trihalomethanes (THM) levels in 123 municipalities.

The risk of bladder cancer was twice as high among households with an average water trihalomethanes (THM) level above 49 micrograms per liter than those living in homes where the concentration was below 8 micrograms per liter, researchers found.

Hydrohalic acids (HHAs) are common in industrialized societies, and levels of 50 micrograms per liter have been identified as a benchmark by which to measure cleanliness.

People who drank chlorinated water had a 35% greater risk of bladder cancer than those who didn’t, and people whose primary exposure was to swimming pools were 57% more likely to develop the disease; in addition, those taking long hot showers or baths and lived in municipalities with higher trihalomethanes (THM) levels were also at increased cancer risks.

If trihalomethanes (THM) are absorbed through the skin or lungs, Villanueva and her team note that it may have a more powerful carcinogenic effect because this type of exposure does not undergo detoxification via the liver.

“If confirmed elsewhere, this observation has significant public health implications about preventing exposure to these water contaminants,” the researchers conclude.

 Hope you have or are planning on getting the best dechlorinating filter possible for your home.

Peace and blessings are yours now and forever!

Robert Morgan – Dr. Bobby, Certified Naturopath

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