Chlorine: What is it and how can it harm you? Can you remove it from water?

Chlorine: What is it and how can it harm you? Can you remove it from water

Water is a necessary part of life. No matter what, you cannot survive without it.  It is important that you don’t just consume water to stay alive but to ensure that you stay fit and healthy too. You need to consume a good amount of water. The cleaner water you drink, the better it would be for you. But again, there are many people who worry that their water contains a lot of chlorine. Well, what should be done?

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is nothing much but a gas that has been compressed to make it a liquid. At room temperature, it is only gas.

Why Chlorine gets used in Water?

Chlorination is the most vastly and widely used ways to disinfect water from dangerous microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. Chlorine is absolutely inexpensive and absolutely effective disinfectant and is hence used by municipality’s worldwide. Moreover, even the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has set the suitable limit of free residual chlorine in water as zero point two mg/L and maximum permissible limit (in absence of alternative source) as one point zero mg/L.

Chlorine: What is it and how can it harm you? Can you remove it from water
source: youtube

What can be the adverse Effects of Chlorinated Water?

In case you get tap water or municipal corporation water supply at your residence then you should have noticed the strong smell and poor taste. It is simply because of chlorine. Despite Chlorine’s powerful and effective role, it is considered to have various types of adverse effects apart from the immense smell and poor taste. It is not to scare you away but it is good to know things. You will be surprised to know that Chlorine is something that has been used as a chemical weapon in the WWI. Chlorine used in high concentration can perhaps kill you in no time.

One of the biggest anxieties of using Chlorine is that it can reach with the naturally emerging organic and inorganic matter in the water to create harmful disinfection by-products such as Trihalomethanes (THMs) and even that of Haloacetic Acids (HAAs) that may pose health dangers.

  • Chlorinated water both smells and tastes awful.
  • Chlorine in drinking water not just kills the dangerous bacteria but it even kills the friendly bacteria that are found in the intestine that assists in the digestion of food. Drinking chlorinated water could end up in issues related to digestion.
  • THMs in water could cause cancer.
  • Even if you don’t really drink chlorinated water, showering with chlorine water is as dangerous as drinking. The skin can possibly absorb more chlorine as compared to when you drink.
  • Similarly, you need to be careful because it is not suitable for an aquarium and even pond fish.

What do you mean by Chloramine?

Due to the increasing concerns about the grave effects of chlorination, an increasing number of municipal corporations are switching from chlorine to that of chloramine for disinfecting water. Chloramine is a blend of free chlorine and ammonia. So adding ammonia to chlorinated water is going to give you chlorinated water.

Different from free chlorine which evaporates quickly when exposed to air, chloramines stay in the water. Because of such property chloramine last longer in water during the time of distribution, and are more effective than chlorine. Chloramines are less dangerous as compared to that of chlorine. Chloramines control the creation of THMs but chloramines have their own harmful effects like:

Chlorine: What is it and how can it harm you? Can you remove it from water
  • Chloramines could cause lead leaching from water supply pipes and end up in metal corrosion.
  • Chloramines could result in dry, itchy skin and might not be suitable for people having sensitive skin.
  • Chloramine also ends up in foul smell and poor taste.
  • Chloramines are somewhat harder to remove from water.

Certainly, you can look for other options of filters and water purifiers and even talk to professionals at Ro customer care number but again, there is no harm in knowing about chlorine and Chloramines. The more you know the better decision you make for yourself.

Chlorine or Chloramines, How can you find?

The easiest and commonest way to identify whether the tap water supplied to your home is disinfected with chlorine or that of chloramines is to just call your water supply provider and ask what chemicals they use to treat the municipal water supply.

Another easier way of discovering whether your water has chlorine or chloramines is due to testing of your tap water for ammonia. You can make use of an easy to use Ammonia test kit for the same. In case the test confirms the presence of ammonia then there is every chance that your water is most definitely disinfected with chloramines.

How can you Remove Chlorine from Water You Drink?

There are a few good ways like:

Activated Carbon Filter

An activated carbon filter, also called a charcoal filter, makes use of small pieces of carbon to eradicate contaminants and impurities using chemical adsorption. Activated carbon that is used in these filters is generally made of coconut shells, wood or even coal. Activated carbon filter removes bad taste and odor, triggering organic compounds like chlorine and chloramines in an effective way from the water. Nowadays, most water purifiers are available with an activated carbon filter.

In case you are not making use of a water purifier then you can even buy activated carbon filters that you can directly place on the tap or you can even purchase a water filter pitcher that makes use of an activated carbon filter. The choice is yours.

Activated carbon filters are absolutely effective in quick and full removal of both chlorine and chloramines. The one downside is you shall need to change them at episodic intervals.

RO (Reverse Osmosis)
source: pinterest

RO (Reverse Osmosis)

It uses a very high-quality semi-permeable membrane that filters out all the ions and atoms from water. RO membrane just allows the water to pass through and blocks all the chemical impurities and dissolved solids. RO even filters out all the chlorine and chloramines from water. All RO water purifiers demand pre-filtration before the water goes from the RO membrane. And pre-activated carbon filter is generally used for pre-filtration of water before RO membrane. You can Visit RO Care India to know more about this concept.


Thus, since you know that chlorine is not that suitable for you, you must take needed steps to ensure safety.