Chlorination Of Water In Australia Essay

Powerful Essays
Chemistry Issues Investigation
Issues Question: “Should the chlorination of water be banned in Australia?"

Introduction

Chlorine is a halogen abundant in the natural environment, typically found in the form of ionic chloride compounds. Once isolated into its elemental form, chlorine has a high oxidising potential, resulting in its use as a water disinfectant globally. Although water chlorination has significantly improved public health, recent studies suggest a correlation between the consumption of chlorinated water and an increased risk of certain cancers, leading to the question: “Should the chlorination of water be banned in Australia?"

Chemical Background

Chlorine is a non-metal with high electronegativity. Having a total of 17 electrons,
…show more content…
(World Health Organisation, 2017) Water chlorination has led to the declination of most waterborne epidemics in today's world, due to its elimination of common pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella and listeria. This has severely reduced instances of cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever and gastroenteritic diseases, all of which remain key causes of death in developing countries that cannot afford proper water sanitation. (Water Quality and Health Council, 2017) Hence, although THMs in chlorinated water are possible carcinogens, the health hazards of non-disinfected water are much …show more content…
and Clements, M. (2014). Colon and rectal cancer incidence and water trihalomethane concentrations in New South Wales, Australia. BMC Cancer, [online] 14(1). Available at: https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2407-14-445 [Accessed 8 Mar. 2017].

Speight, V. and Rosario-Ortiz, R. (2016). Can drinking water be delivered without disinfectants like chlorine and still be safe?. [online] The Conversation. Available at: https://theconversation.com/can-drinking-water-be-delivered-without-disinfectants-like-chlorine-and-still-be-safe-55476 [Accessed 19 Mar. 2017].

U.S. Department of Health and Services, (2014). Disinfection By-Products. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Water Quality and Health Council, (2017). Chlorine and Drinking Water: Here's to Your Health. [online] Waterandhealth.org. Available at: http://www.waterandhealth.org/drinkingwater/before.php3 [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].

World Health Organisation, (2017). WHO World Water Day Report. [online] Geneva. Available at: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/takingcharge.html [Accessed 14 Mar.

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