Safe Chlorinated Water Versus Safer Point-of-Use Dechlorinated Water

Tuesday, 8 July 2008: 8:30 AM
Stephanie Chee, PhD, MSc (Gerontology), MA (Ed), MBA, MN, BN, RN, RM , Graduate Programmes & Research Office, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore

Learning Objective 1: Identify the benefits of chlorine disinfection of drinking water with regard to reducing microbial contamination.

Learning Objective 2: Identify the harmful effects of free chlorine and its byproducts namely trihalomethanes in chlorinated water with regard to causing bladder cancer and fetal growth retardation.


Several epidemiological, public health and clinical research studies have revealed the adverse effects of contaminated and chlorinated water.

Aim of paper:

To conduct a literature review on the fundamentals of liquid water and basis of safe drinking water for health maintenance. It also presents an extensive literature review about water that satisfies the following three key questions. These include “How does water present itself in human body? How does water present itself in liquid form? Why are we so concerned over water?” It further discusses the importance of safer water for disease prevention given the most recent epidemiological studies.


A planned review specifically addresses these questions: How does water present itself in human body? How does water present itself in liquid form? Why are we so concerned over supply of safe water? The review also discussed on the need for continuous epidemiological research and clinical research to establish the therapeutic effects of safer point-of-sale dechlorinated water. Most recent scientific literature will be reviewed with regard to long-term exposure to chlorination by-products (trihalomethanes or THMs) in chlorinated water. Specific adverse chemical toxicities such as cancer risk for bladder cancer and fetal growth retardation caused by ingestion of chlorinated water, and inhalation and skin absorption of THMs during showering, bathing and swimming in pools will be presented.

Conclusion of the review:

The review implies the importance of public health education and community advocacy for safe water for all, and safer point-of-use dechlorinated water for disease prevention.