Carcinogenicity and drinking water.
Water is a powerful solvent that readily dissolves many natural and synthetic substances from the environment (e.g. inorganic salts, humic acids and pesticide residues). The processes of purification, disinfection and preparation and storage necessary to provide and distribute drinking water may introduce further chemicals, including some used for these purposes and others derived by interaction between them and the compounds of natural origin. The composition of drinking water, therefore, is complex and varies between sites and with the seasons. Modern technology is employed to minimise the amounts of many of these substances, but some may persist, including derivatives generated by halogenation and ozonation for disinfection. Some of the substances are genotoxic in the laboratory and a few are proven experimental carcinogens--all at much higher concentrations than those normally found in a drinking water supply. Many ecological and epidemiological surveys have been done to compare the occurrence of various types of tumour in man with exposure to different types of drinking, but no consistent or reliable association has been found. There are serious and probably irremediable methodological weaknesses in these attempts, because of the difficulty of defining the nature of the waters consumed over a major part of life, and the variable composition of waters. The surveys do not permit even a realistic assessment of the upper confidence limit of the exclusion of the risk. Thus, although there is some experimental indication of the possible presence of carcinogenic substances in most or all drinking waters, and of how they are formed, the concentrations are very low and there is no realistic evidence that they have caused harm to man.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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- DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0773.1993.tb01678.x
- Blackwell Publishing_STM : 저널 > 논문
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