Also known as trichloromethane, chloroform is a colorless organic compound with a sweet odor. Chloroform is one of the four chloromethanes and is among the trihalomethanes group. The dense liquid is famous for its ability to knock out or daze people.
The organic compound is essential for its industrial uses. Chloroform is used as a solvent for resins, gums, fats, and other organic compounds. It is essential as an anesthetic and reagent. Chloroform is also used in criminal activities since it is able to knock down people even in small amounts.
Chloroform can enter water systems through improper waste management of chemical companies and paper mills. The adding of chlorine in drinking water will also result in chloroform contamination. The process of chlorination of drinking water makes it a common contaminant in the United States as well as in many countries around the world. In short, the solution to eliminate bacteria in water causes another water contaminant.
What are the Health Risks Associated with Chloroform?
More than 220 million people in 46 states consume tap water with chloroform. Exposure to the disinfection byproduct in drinking water can cause liver, kidney, and central nervous damages, pregnancy problems, and an increased risk of getting cancer.
As a disinfection byproduct, chloroform is found in tap water. According to the EPA, chloroform is safe at levels found in tap water. The organic compound is among the several byproducts of chlorination of drinking water, and it is common in most public water systems. Since most public water systems require water disinfection, there’s a high chance of finding the byproduct in tap water.
The Environmental Protection Agency has set its maximum contaminant Level Goals (MCLG) to 0.07 mg/L or 70 ppb. The MCL for chloroform is at 0.080 mg/L or 80 ppb.
Like other trihalomethanes, chloroform is best removed with high-quality granular activated carbon. The filtration media is found in many reliable water filtration systems. AquaOx’s filter systems are equipped with premium granular activated carbon (GAC) to remove chloroform and other contaminants to below the EPA’s contamination level standards. Get a water filter system today and shield your family from the harmful effects of chloroform in drinking water!
Cancer Classification: EPA: Probable human carcinogen. IARC: Possibly carcinogenic to humans. NTP: Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen
Chemical Classification: Volatile organic compounds
Summary: Chloroform is a colorless liquid with a pleasant, nonirritating odor and a slightly sweet taste. It will burn only when it reaches very high temperatures. In the past, chloroform was used as an inhaled anesthetic during surgery, but it isn’t used that way today. Today, chloroform is used to make other chemicals and can also be formed in small amounts when chlorine is added to water. Other names for chloroform are trichloromethane and methyl trichloride.