Source of Trihalomethanes (THMs) in Water: Water treatment facilities often use disinfectants to treat the water, particularly when the water source is surface water, like a lake or pond. These disinfectants include chlorine and bromine. When organic materials in the water react with these chemical disinfectants, trihalomethanes (THMs) can be created as a by-product. The most common THM is chloroform. The US EPA has rated these at 0.08 mg/L. THMs can also be found in pools and hot tubs. Competitive swimmers are more likely to be exposed to THMs in pools rather than recreational swimmers.
Symptoms of Trihalomethanes: People exposed toTHMs in drinking water have been connected to liver and kidney disease. These contaminants can also affect the central nervous system and increase a person's risk of getting cancer. Some studies have also connected THMs to birth defects in infants.
Filtration Solutions for THMs: Water municipalities are required to notify customers about their methods of disinfection. When chlorine is used as a secondary disinfectant, THMs are always present in the water. If you are concerned about the levels of disinfectant by-products in your water, have your water tested. Trihalomethanes and other halogenated organics can be reduced through granular activated carbon filter cartridges and reverse osmosis systems.