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Tap water treated with chlorine produces toxic carcinogens, study finds

A new study from Johns Hopkins raises newfound concerns about the most common water treatment found in American tap water.

Researchers identified new toxic and carcinogenic byproducts that are produced when chlorine is added to regular drinking water. Their findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences & Technology. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests 4 milligrams of chlorine per liter of drinking water as a safe level.

Carsten Prasse, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins and the lead author of the study, wants to be clear that chlorination itself is not detrimental to human health.

Chlorine is frequently used because it’s effective, affordable and easy to administer, explained Ngai Yin Yip, an assistant professor of earth and environmental engineering at Columbia University.

Adding chlorine to drinking water, per the CDC, kills germs and bacteria – and significantly reduces waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. 

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