BROMATE IN DRINKING WATER
What is Bromine
Bromine is a brownish-red liquid at room temperature with a pungent smell. It is the only non-metallic element that is liquid under ordinary conditions. Bromine is soluble in water. Bromate is a chemical compound and formed when Bromine is oxidised.
Bromide is found naturally in source water. Ozone is used in disinfection of water to make it potable. When ozone is reacted with Bromine, the Bromate is formed. Desalination and photosynthesis are other methods by which Bromate is formed in water.
Bromate is Carcinogenic
One of the UK plants of Coco-Cola was asked to recall the bottled water it produced contained Bromate. The quantum of Bromate will depend on many factors like bromide ion concentration, pH of the source water, the amount of ozone and the disinfection time.
Ingestion of large amounts of Bromate can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Some individuals who ingested high concentrations of Bromate also experienced kidney effects, nervous system effects and hearing loss.
The Bromate in water can aggravate existing kidney diseases. Even reproductive system can be affected with high dose of Bromate. Bromide is carcinogenic .
Bromate during Ozonation
Ozone (Three atoms of Oxygen) reacts with Bromide ions in water to produce Bromate. Up to 10 PPB (Parts per Billion) Bromide is safe as per US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By reducing the pH level of water to 6 can reduce the Bromate formation.
Two lakes in California were drained in 2007 to reduce the naturally occurring Bromate contamination. Plastic shade balls can be used to block the sunlight which causes the naturally present Bromide to react with the Chlorine used in water treatment.
Even though it is difficult to completely avoid Bromate intake, the quantum can be minimised so as not to harm human being
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