Haloacetic Acids is a group of substances included in the list of by-products or residues of water treatment. Its formation occurs when chemicals like chlorine are applied to the water supply to strip it of pollutants and make it potable. Most of the recent home water purifier or camping water filter systems are able to strip of these acids and other pollutants from any water source.
The components of the haloacetic acids group are monochloroacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, and dibromoacetic acid. Generally, they have the ability to deactivate pathogens present in underground water. They secure the sanity of treated drinking water during transportation from its source to the final destination–the end users.
Effects that have been found during laboratory experiments included the conclusion that water treatment by-products are carcinogenic. Moreover, like chlorite, they also cause developmental hazards. One concrete example for this is the deterioration of the development of brain cells among fetuses and babies. This effect has been found the same among pregnant women. The ability to bear healthy offspring is also affected by the by-products. Miscarriage is another effect that could highly occur in women drinking water with too much haloacetic acids.
This by-product group has also been related to an increase in the risk of cancer. The parts easily affected by over exposure to haloacetic acids are the kidney, liver and nervous system. Studies have also shown that the harmful effects worsen as a person continuously gets exposed to increasing amounts of these by-products.
Unfortunately, the body easily absorbs these by-products. Upon absorption, haloacetic acids are carried by the bloodstream. These acids stay in the blood cells and causes anemia. Another body part which absorbs them easily is the skin. Skin absorption of haloacetic acids could cause skin irritation and dryness. Their effects extend to the hair proteins. They mix up with protein in your hair strands and cause them damage, making your hair dull and brittle.
Standards of the amount that can be absorbed have been set by the government. Suppliers of drinking water and companies doing the treatments have been made aware of these regulations to assure safety of the public. To ensure your and your family’s safety, you should know well your supplier of drinking water. And, for additional water safety, purify your home drinking water with a water purifier or a camping water filter.