Chlorine reacts with the organic material in the water supply and forms what are called by-products. According the EPA website (.gov) these by-products are described as:
"Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) form when disinfectants used to treat drinking water react with naturally occurring materials in the water. The predominant byproducts that result from use of chlorine as a disinfectant are trihalomethanes (chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and dibromochloromethane)
These DBPs have been linked to a list of health problems. The EPA acknowledges the link between DBPs and cancer and goes on to speak on chlorine DBPs and their effects on reproductive and developmental health. According to the EPA "With respect to reproductive and developmental effects, we do not know for sure. Little is known about reproductive and developmental effects and the role of environmental exposures from these disinfection byproducts. However, the evidence available at this time raises concern about a possible link between chlorinated drinking water and reproductive and developmental effects."
Pure Water Now: http://pureplanetwaters.com/
So the EPA is not sure about the health effects, but based on their preliminary evidence they have raised concerns. If you are an educated "consumer" the term "we do not know for sure" should automatically signal a warning siren... in other words, there is a confirmed link between DBPs and cancer, and a probable link between DBPs and reproductive and developmental health effects.
It is important to note that there are hundreds of by-products in the water, of which only a handful have been studied, and more importantly only a handful of which are monitored in the drinking water. It is also important to remember that these by-products are in addition to the actual chlorine itself. Chlorine still present in drinking water will react with saliva and stomach content to form disinfectant by-products similar to those produced in water.
In addition to the Chlorine and DBPs, NYC water also contains fluoride, the controversial additive that has received fierce media attention recently. A bill is being drafted by NYC Council member Peter Vallone which calls for a ban on the practice of adding fluoride to the water. Scientific studies have shown that this additive does little to help promote healthy teeth and actually has been linked to serious health effects. In recent months, following the EPA warning in November of 2010, Lead in NYC tap water has also been a matter of concern. The EPA has advised that they are finding elevated lead levels in NYC tap water samples, and they are uncertain as to why. Please note there is no safe level of lead when it comes to drinking water.
In a generation where the masses are seeking healthier food, the government is taking action to reduce soft drink consumption, and all processed foods must by law contain nutrition labels it is no surprise that NY residents are taking matters into their own hands and seeking water filtration. "There are just too many health risks to consider when it comes to drinking straight from the tap" explains Gary Cucuzza of Pure Planet Waters "It is not like there is one chemical of concern that a simple filter will remove, there are numerous chemicals and contaminants in the water which pose serious health risks to those who drink or cook with the water, the only way to fully protect yourself from the risks is through the use of a multi stage filtration system."
Gary is familiar with NYC tap water. In his role at Pure Planet Waters he is responsible for water research and product development. "In the past we used to rely more heavily on generating sales through marketing campaigns, now we are finding more New Yorkers are actively seeking our filtration services, as they are more educated and aware of the serious health risks that exist in the tap water" Gary explains that Pure Planet Waters multi stage home filtration systems, which mount under the kitchen sink and have their own designated faucet, removes all of the chemicals and contaminants and delivers absolutely pure water. "We test each and every system to ensure it is effectively removing all the contaminants"
You can contact Pure Planet Waters for more information on their multi stage reverse osmosis, alkaline water and ultra filtration systems by calling (718) 676-7900 or by visiting their website at: http://pureplanetwaters.com/
There is a great collection of links discussing NYC tap water, and bottled water, available on the Pure Planet Website at: http://pureplanetwaters.com/