WATER HAZARD?

FINNISH SCIENTISTS LINK CHLORINE TO CANCER IN RATS

Just when you thought it was O.K. to go back in the water, new studies raise questions about the safety of the chlorine used to purify everything from swimming pools to municipal drinking-water supplies.

In the latest study a team of Finnish scientists reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute last week that MX, a compound produced when chlorine reacts with organic material in water, causes cancer in laboratory rats when swallowed in large quantities. "Although these findings cannot be extrapolated to humans," they concluded, "MX should be studied as a candidate risk factor."

As a disinfectant, chlorine is...

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