While oxidizers such as chlorine, bromine and chlorine dioxide do an excellent job of cleaning up water so that it contains no microorganisms and/or harmful strains of bacteria, their success as disinfectants does not come without a price.
Byproducts of the chemical reaction between the ‘bad’ components and the oxidizers form each time one of those ‘bad’ components gets eliminated and we call the disinfection byproducts. See below for a list of the ones listed in the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for Disinfection ByProducts along with their MCL’s (Maximum Contaminat Levels) and potential hazards to humans:
- Bromate — Associated with an increased risk of cancer. Maximum Contaminant Level: 0.01 mg/L
- Chlorite — Associated with Anemia; infants and young children: nervous system effects. Maximum Contaminant Level: 1.0 mg/L
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) — Associated with an increased risk of cancer. Maximum Contaminant Level: 0.06 mg/L
- Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) — Associated with liver, kidney or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer. Maximum Contaminant Level: 0.08 mg/L