Chloramines in Bhubaneswar piped water will make denizens prone to Pneumonia, Influenza & Cancer: WHO

WHO report reveals continuous exposure to high Chloramines in drinking water may lead to colon & bladder cancer. A Massachusetts (USA) study showed US residents exposed to chloramine-laced-drinking water reported excess deaths due to pneumonia and Influenza.

Bhubaneswar: For the smart city denizens, the tap water of Bhubaneswar figuring as the second safest after Mumbai in the safe piped water list is not comforting.

Because, the one contaminant, chloramines, detected in excess to the safe limits in Bhubaneswar tap water (piped water) is enough to give jitters to the common man.

As per the Bureau of India Standards (BIS) report released on Saturday, one sample of piped water in the Smart city was found to be having excess of a compound called chloramines than the permissible limit.

The permissible limit of chloramines in piped drinking water as per the BIS- 10500:2012 is 4 mg/litre. But the sample from Bhubaneswar was found containing the compound in excess.

How Chloramines come into picture in Bhubaneswar piped waters? This is most commonly used by water supplying utilities across the world to treat drinking water. This is used as disinfectant to treat water as it has a longer life-period than chlorine, and its use will not give a chlorinous taste to the drinking water.

This is bactericidal, which means it kills bacteria, and prevents growth of bacterial and other microbes in the piped drinking water supply system.

But the water that contains the compound as per the regulatory standards is only fit for drinking, cooking, bathing and other household uses.

What happens when it exceeds?  As per study by WHO, the compound has no adverse affect on humans when chloramine content in water is below or at 5mg/litre.

But when it reaches to 15 mg/litre, increase in plasma apolipoprotien was observed. WHO, therefore, said that chloramines at 2mg/litre did not affect lipid or thyroid metabolism in healthy men.

The WHO report further reveals that as per epidemiological studies continuous exposure to high concentration of Chloramines in drinking water may lead to disease conditions like colon and bladder cancer.  

WHO has further quoted a Massachusetts (USA) study that found US residents exposed to drinking water with chloramines above the prescribed norm reported excess deaths due to pneumonia and Influenza.

For which, the nodal UN organisation on health has called for bringing down the chloramines to set standard norms  or to nil.

The BIS report, however, found no trace of coliform & E. coli in Capital’s  piped waters. The presence of such organisms may make consumers prone to diarrhoea and jaundice. In the year 2017, certain pockets in the City had witnessed jaundice outbreak.

Moreover, the City samples didn’t exhibit traces of Aluminium, Boron, Chloride, flouride, odour, Anionic detergent, magnesium in excess to acceptable limit. Also, the piped water in City didn’t exhibit alkalinity, total hardness and turbidity.

The bottomline is water should be either pure or impure. One cannot describe it as second pure or safest. But it can be described as exceedingly impure, and the Bhubaneswar piped water cannot be termed as ‘exceedingly impure’, which is somewhat assuring.