Chlorine is a chemical that was used as a gas in World War I. In gaseous form chlorine is very harmful to human lung tissue, throat passages, and internal body when the vapors are inhaled and move into the bloodstream. Unfortunately many municipalities around the United States and the world have been using liquid chlorine pumped into the public water supply to kill pathogenic organisms and bacteria. Chlorine is a good disinfectant since it instantly kills bacteria due to its oxidizing potential. However this is also terrible for those people who drink tap water as they are drinking a percentage of chlorine when they drink the water. Now, chlorine in liquid form that is swallowed in the tap water can cause some serious detrimental effects on the human body. It can oxidize cells in the body burning them internally. There are many problems that drinking chlorine in tap water can have on the body including, tingling or itching sensations all over the skin, burning or inflammation of the throat and esophagus severe lethargy, feeling like you need to sleep 14 hours a day. The list goes on and on. If you are going to use tap water to drink or cook with it is necessary to remove chlorine from the drinking supply.
Purchase a faucet sink filter with granular activated carbon in it or GAC. Granular activated carbon for sink filters usually comes in a block of compressed carbon. The carbon can be in the form of many different materials such as coconut husks, charcoal, or even types of wood. Activated carbon works by the process of adsorption to suck chlorine molecules to its surface. This is how it removes chlorine from drinking water. As the tap water with chlorine passes through the filter the chlorine molecules adsorb onto the surface of the carbon and are effectively removed from the water.
Purchase a pitcher water filter. Pitcher water filters such as PUR or Brita filters are small filters attached to a water pitcher. You fill the pitcher and water drips slowly through the filter to the bottom of the container. These carbon filters typically differ from the faucet mounted filters because they do not use compressed blocks of carbon. They use carbon fines or small flakes of carbon in the filter to remove chlorine and other harmful chlorine by-products from the water.
Purchase chlorine testing strips. Chlorine testing strips are relatively cheap and easy to use. They look like thin slivers of pieces of paper. You take the chlorine strip and dip it in the testing water for several seconds. Then you remove the strip and look at the color on the strip. Match the color on the chlorine testing strip to the color chart that came with the instruction to determine how many parts per million (PPM) of chlorine are in your drinking water. You can perform this test to determine how much chlorine is in your drinking water. You should also test the water after passing it through your chlorine filter to make sure that the filter is removing all of the chlorine from your water.
Be sure to replace your carbon water filter as often as the manufacturer recommends. Carbon filters will eventually become clogged with chlorine and other by-products reducing their effectiveness. At this point you must buy a new filter or you may risk leaching some chlorine into your filtered water. Many sink water filters last only a few months. Some more expensive filters that you can install underneath your sink can last up to 6 months or more. To be safe it is best to change the filter well within the recommended manufacturer’s change interval.
You may also remove pure chlorine from drinking water by letting water sit in an open container for over 24 hours. The chlorine will precipitate out of the water. This is a good secondary measure to use after first filtering the water with your carbon filter. However this process does not remove chloramine from the tap water. Many municipalities are now disinfecting water with chloramines instead of chlorine. Chloramines contain chlorine attached to an ammonia atom which makes the molecule more stable. The best way to remove chloramines is to use a GAC filter.