Haloacetic acids are byproducts that occur during the chlorination of water – a procedure used by water treatment plants, such as the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). These byproducts form when the chlorine used to disinfect water reacts with organic matter. The most common haloacetic acids in drinking water are monochloracetric acid (MCA), dichloracetric acid (DCA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), monobromoacetic acid (MBA), and dibromoacetic acid (DBA).
Haloacetic acids that contain chlorine and bromine end up in the water flowing from your tap. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) places the upper safety limit for haloacetic acids in the water at 0.06 mgL.
To learn more about what’s in your water, contact the professional water treatment experts at Hague Quality Water of Maryland today.
Do haloacetic acids have harmful effects on your health?
The official position is that haloacetic acids have low toxicity and are not likely to cause harmful effects at the levels commonly found in drinking water. That said, people who are exposed to high levels of haloacetic acids in their drinking water sometimes appear to have an increased risk of getting cancer over time.
The research data used to make these statements comes from studies conducted on animals, not humans. However, these findings are still disconcerting. Similarly, animal studies have pointed to an increased rate of birth defects, spontaneous abortions, and decreased fertility.
Overall, officials identify haloacetic acids as possible human carcinogens, with more research needed on the matter.
While blood and urine tests may reveal that a person has been exposed to high levels of haloacetic acids in the short term, it is hard to detect long-term exposure to what is considered a low level of haloacetic acids. Thus, it is possible to overlook borderline levels of exposure.
Is the water you drink tested for haloacetic acid levels?
Public water systems are required to conduct regular testing of drinking water for haloacetic acids. If the acids exceed the upper safety limit, water treatment officials need to take the proper measures to bring the levels down.
According to a 2019 Tap Water Analysis conducted by the WSSC, the level of haloacetic acids found was 1.4 mg/L, 1.34 mg/L above the national safety limit. While the WSSC works diligently to ensure clean water is distributed to homes throughout the Washington, D.C. area, it is essential to take extra precautions to filter these harmful contaminants out of your water to keep you and your family safe.
How can haloacetic acids be removed from water?
The most effective way by far to reduce the levels of haloacetic acids in water is by removing their organic precursors. Conventional water treatment – coagulation, sedimentation, and filtration – reduces the quantity of organic matter in the water, but sometimes, it is not enough.
How can you make sure that the water you drink is good for your health?
Making sure that the water that flows out of your tap is clean, fresh, and safe is a smart health investment. Relying on bottled water for drinking may be a short term solution, but it can get costly and inconvenient in the long run.
It’s okay to wonder about the quality of the drinking water in your area. If you want to make sure that your household always has access to safe water, the Hague WaterMax® BEQ water filtration system is the optimal solution for your home. Our filtration system eliminates the taste of chlorine, sediment, calcium, and magnesium deposits that come with hard water. These elements can wreak havoc on your household appliances.
With the Hague WaterMax® BEQ water filtration system, you can drink water straight out of the tap without any concerns for your health. As a bonus, showering with our purified, soft water is much better for your skin and hair, too.
We also offer a 25-year Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty, so you can feel confident in your water treatment system for many years to come!
The experts at Hague Quality Water of Maryland will be happy to answer your call at (410) 757-2992. Our team will learn more about your water issues and can arrange a free consultation on the best filtration option for your home.