Bladder cancer risk boosted by over-exposure to chlorinated water

16 March 2011

Scientists have warned that a person's risk of developing bladder cancer increases significantly if they over-expose themselves to chlorinated water.

Researchers claim that the process of chlorinating water creates a number of carcinogenic byproducts - called trihalomethanes.
Dr Gemma Castano-Vinyals, from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Castilla La Mancha, Spain, said that trihalomethanes can be absorbed through the skin and they pose a very real risk to health.

"Despite being apparently cleaner and taking more exercise, as a result of taking more frequent and longer baths, and using swimming pools more often, [people] are actually increasing their risk of trihalomethane exposure," Dr Castano-Vinyals said.

She claimed that while the increase in risk was relatively small, the increased exposure warrants further investigation.

Dr Castano-Vinyals' team noted that wealthier, more highly-educated subjects were at a greater risk of trihalomethane than their poorer counterparts - particularly in terms of dermal contact.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 

1 Castano-Vinyals, Gemma et al. "Socioeconomic status and exposure to disinfection by-products in drinking water in Spain". Environmental Health. Wednesday, March 16th 2011.


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