Chlorine can give rise to cancer

The National referral hospital last year, reported one death caused due to typhoid which is a water borne disease, while there were 145 cases of diarrhoea ,five cases of dysentery , five cases of conjunctivitis and 17 typhoid-fever cases which are all water borne illnesses.

About 70% of these cases occurred during the monsoon season. The Bhutanese talked to some of the patients.

Majority of them said their water supply is not as safe as it is supposed to be although  the TCC has a proper water treatment plant in the city.

Normally, at the water treatment plant the TCC officials said a standard amount of 0.5 to 1 ppm of chlorine is added every day as a disinfectant. Parts Per Million or ppm is the standard unit referred to measure the amount of chlorine used to disinfect water.

The medical superintendent at the national referral hospital – JDWNRH, Dr. Dhrupthob Sonam said chlorination if used in a proper amount has no adverse effects.

No cases have been recorded at the JDWNRH of individuals falling ill due to chlorine contents in their drinking water, nonetheless some international research indicates incidence of cancer is 44% higher among those who drink chlorinated water.

The public health laboratory at the JDWNRH also conducts various tests on the city’s water supply, after which they send a report to the TCC which basically determines the areas to be looked into and improved.

The TCC also conducts tests frequently but the chief engineer at the TCC said there is a shortage of experts and technicians to work on it extensively.

This comes as disturbing news since the health of the masses depends on the water supply sanitation which is initiated by TCC.

The chief engineer of the engineering division Mahesh Pradhan said debris and other contingents contaminate the source but it is filtered at the treatment plant.

The executive engineer with the engineering division of the TCC Naphel said “The people living in the core areas need not worry since the water treatment plant functions for the four core zones in the city”.

The turbidity at the intake point of the water supply contaminated with debris and silt source still remains a constant monsoon tradition. If the municipality cannot find a more efficient solution, it may not be able to avoid sending people to the hospital.

TCC officials said the damages done to the pipe lines is due to erosions.

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