VOCs (volatile organics) and THMs (trihalomethanes) are chemical compounds that are created when chlorine is added to the water, and reacts with organic matter already present.
Why is chlorine added to the water?
The city adds chlorine to the water supply to ensure that any bacteria that may be present are killed and the water is * safe * for consumption.
What effect can VOCs and THMs have on my health?
Studies have shown that exposure/intake of VOCs and THMs (like chloroform) over time lead to a higher risk of bladder and colon cancer. It is especially recommended that pregnant women consider their intake and exposure to THMs, because they have been found to be a contributing factor to birth outcomes, such as miscarriage, birth defects, and low birth weight.
Can VOCs and THMs only affect me through my drinking water?
No. These compounds can be absorbed by the skin when bathing/washing in untreated city water too, and inhaled not only when bathing, but also during mild-exposure activites, such as washing dishes.
How can I avoid my exposure to VOCs and THMs?
You can install a water filter designed to reduce these compounds from the water – look for a filter that indicates meeting NSF Standard 53.
To increase your protection from contaminants in the water, installing a reverse osmosis drinking water system is always recommended.