Home / Clean Water Blog / What is Bromodichloromethane?
What is Bromodichloromethane?

What is Bromodichloromethane?

Are you concerned about Bromodichloromethane? Maybe you've read some news headlines lately about the chemical being found in local tap water municipalities. Maybe your health conscious friend has told you about BDCM. Whatever your inquiry we wanted to put together a simple guide to understanding Bromodichloromethane. 

So what's Bromodichloromethane, anyway?

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease registry BDCM is "a colorless, heavy, nonburnable liquid. BDCM does not usually exist as a liquid in the environment. Rather, it usually is found evaporated in air or dissolved in water."

Most BDCM found in the environment is a byproduct of chlorine. Chlorine is added to drinking water to kill disease causing organisms. Other forms of Bromodichloromethane come from chemical laboratories. Because BDCM evaporates so quickly, it can easily escape into the environment as a gas. 

water treatment plant chlorinated water

A California Water Treatment Plant. Where water chlorination occurs. 

Where does Bromodichloromethane exposure occur?

BDCM exposure most often occurs when drinking chlorinated tap water. Other instances of exposure occur, although at much lower levels, when consuming food made with chlorinated water and swimming in chlorinated pools. 

How does ingesting Bromodichloromethane affect my health?

Above average levels of exposure to BCDM can affect health of the liver and kidneys. High levels can also cause effects to the brain which can lead to incoordination and sleepiness. Studies in animals show that intake of BDCM for several years in food or water can lead to cancer of the liver, kidney and intestines

How can I avoid exposure to BDCM?

Avoiding chlorinated water is a safe bet to ensure that you're curbing your exposure to the chemical. Although the FDA sets a strict limit on the amount of BDCM allowed in your local drinking water, you may choose to filter it in order to reduce it's chlorine content. Avoiding exposure to other forms of Chlorine including at industrial waste sites is also wise.