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Got TTHMs In Your Water? We Remove That.

The AquaOx Removes TTHM Contamination

What Are TTHMs?

TTHMs are created when chlorine reacts with other naturally occurring chemicals in the water. This group of four organic halides contaminates 90% of this country’s drinking water. All four compounds, including chloroform, banned as an anesthetic in 1976, are either known or suspected of causing cancer. The AquaOx whole house water filters can remove the harmful TTHMs (Trihalomethanes) from your water supply and keep your body going strong.

TTHM Overview

What Are the Health Risks of Using Water With TTHM?

Drinking water with TTHMs can have adverse health effects. Many of these contaminants found in household water are either known to or suspected of causing cancer, can interfere with various body processes and can be toxic to many organs and tissues, including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, brain, liver and reproductive and nervous systems.

While public health departments monitor the levels of TTHMs in our water systems, the effects of small doses are unknown. The limits set for “safe” consumption are based on the known risks for higher exposure over long periods of time.

This means that toxins that are proven to be extremely dangerous at high levels, don’t yet have proven consequences at low levels, so they are allowed. According to the CDC the “Human health effects from DBPs at low environmental doses or at biomonitored levels from low environmental exposures are unclear or unknown.”

They have listed consequences that are known to be a result of high levels of the four trihalomethanes and other DBPs (haloacetonitriles, chlorophenols, haloacetic acids, haloketones). These include heart, kidney, and liver disease. In animal studies, they have found reproductive effects, including decreased sperm motility and adverse developmental effects when there was maternal toxicity.

Why is Chlorine Added to Water Systems?

Since the early ages of understanding disease, humans have been striving to find ways to keep a ready supply of disinfected drinking water. Our water systems are limited by supply, and storage without contamination can be very difficult.

As metropolitan areas move water from deep wells, lakes, and reservoirs, the water has to travel through miles of piping. Smaller communities that can draw directly from groundwater sources can often go without using chemical compounds as disinfectants, but most cities need to control bacterial contamination through chlorination.

This eliminates waterborne disease frequency in the population by killing bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter. The maximum contaminant level allowed in public water supplies should be micromanaged by the local government and water utility companies, as well as the TTHMs and other disinfection byproducts.

Not everyone dislikes chlorinated water- there are many who don’t mind the odor and feel that safe water with the extra care to monitor drinking water standards within the distribution system is well worth the off-putting smell and taste.

Human epidemiology studies and animal toxicology studies have examined associations between chlorinated drinking water or DBPs and cancer. While EPA cannot conclude there is a causal link between exposure to chlorinated surface water and cancer, EPA believes that the available research indicates a potential association between bladder cancer and exposure to chlorinated drinking water or DBPs. – source

How Are People Exposed to TTHM in Drinking Water?

You absorb contaminants from your water in lots of ways beyond drinking – showering, washing, breathing humidified or steamy air, brushing your teeth, washing and preparing food. All use of chlorinated water can cause some level of ingestion or absorption.


Showering and washing your hands exposes your skin to harmful contaminants. Among the chemicals absorbed are cancer-causing chlorine and its derivatives. What’s more, the longer you shower or wash, the more chlorine you absorb because warm water enlarges your skin’s pores, facilitating absorption.

In addition to the skin absorption issues of bathing and showering, while using hot water, you are most likely breathing the steam, meaning that you are absorbing chemical by-products through your lungs.

This means showering in chlorinated water is much more dangerous than drinking the same water. In fact, while showering, your body absorbs 6 times the contaminants it does when you drink 8 glasses of water.

From Chemical Contaminants in Drinking Water: An Integrated Exposure Analysis, Rajesh Khanal:

“Washing Your Hands Contributes Significantly to the Dermal Absorption of Contaminants From Water”


Showering and running water cause chlorine and other harmful synthetic chemicals to become gaseous, making them easily inhaled. While showering, toxic volatized chlorine and cancer-causing Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) are released into the air. Once inhaled, these chemicals enter the blood stream directly—without the partial filtering effect of digestion. This can cause or aggravate asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Recommendations from the Annual Report of the President’s Cancer Panel:

“Filtering home tap or well water can decrease exposure to numerous known or suspected carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.”

Additional Activities That Increase Risk of Absorption of TTHM from Your Water Source:

  • Brushing Teeth

  • Washing and Preparing Food

Types of TTHM

There are four significant TTHM that are typically found in drinking water. The combined concentration of the four TTHM is known as the total TTHM. They are:

  • Chloroform

  • Bromodichloromethane

  • Dibromochloromethane

  • Bromoform

Tap water that carries disinfection products has been linked to bladder cancer in several studies:

Human epidemiology studies and animal toxicology studies have examined associations between chlorinated drinking water or DBPs and cancer. While EPA cannot conclude there is a causal link between exposure to chlorinated surface water and cancer, EPA believes that the available research indicates a potential association between bladder cancer and exposure to chlorinated drinking water or DBPs. – source

This study also found a link between showing or bathing in water — in addition to drinking water that contained THMs and a correlation of an even higher risk of bladder cancer in men.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Drinking Water Standard

The EPA has been working to improve drinking water conditions and standards across the country, and their new initiative is making great headway. But even in the description of the need for the initiative, they point out gross noncompliance to their bare-minimum standards of safety for drinking water.

Based on the studies we mentioned above, the recommended level of total Trihalomethanes is .8 PPM. This is the level at which there is thought to be no risk of cancer. However, the EPA’s enforceable level is 80 PPM — a level 10 times higher than is considered absolutely safe.

Which means that your family could be drinking water that contains a level of chlorine by-products that have a high correlation with cancer, and yet be 100% within legal guidelines.

How To Remove TTHM From Tap Water

Many homeowners choose to protect their home by providing their own filtration system. A whole house water treatment system protects not only the drinking water but also the bathing and the showering, reducing the family’s total exposure load.

In order to remove these contaminates you will want a filter that contains carbon. The Aquaox has a two-stage carbon filtration system to ensure that the maximum amount of contaminants are removed.

*NOTE: Not all water contains all contaminants discussed. No water purifying system can remove 100% of every contaminant. If you have a concern about a specific contaminant, please give us a call or live chat with our water experts.

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