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Tap water and iodised salt can make your food toxic, Here’s how

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Do you use tap water to cook your food? If yes, then its time to improve this habit as a new study has warned that cooking food with tap water and then adding salt to it can be hazardous and it can adversely affect your health. According to researchers from the Hong Kong University, tap water contains chlorine and iodine present in the iodised salt reacts at high temperatures generating hazardous compounds that were previously unknown.

Researchers explained that these compounds were previously unknown that might be the reason someone didn’t notice the adverse effects of cooking food in tap water and then later adding iodised salt.

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Chlorine is added to the water as a disinfectant to kill the microorganisms present in the water. Now, water treatment is also done by two ways — Chlorination and Chloramination. In chlorination, we add chlorine or hypochlorite to the water to kill certain bacteria and microbes present in the water.

In chlorination, we add chlorine or hypochlorite to the water to certain bacteria and microbes present in the water. In chloramination, we add chloramines to the water. As the name suggests chloramines are by-product of chlorides and ammonia by substituting either one two or three hydrogen atoms with chlorines. In both the disinfection process, chemical composition of water changes.

In the study, researchers have found that hypoiodous acid is formed when chlorides or chloramines present in the water react with iodine at high temperature. Hypoiodous acid is made when one atom of hydrogen, oxygen and iodine each attaches to each other — HIO. It is a very weak acid and does not pose any danger to health but it can be dangerous when it can react with organic compounds present in the food to generate iodinated disinfection byproducts (I-DBPs).

These I-DBPs weren’t known to scientists till date. So to determine its chemical and physical properties, study authors conducted several tests in the laboratory. While testing, researchers identified 14 new compounds that were toxic in nature. Some compounds were very toxic, said researchers.

Moreover, researchers are shocked to see unknown toxic compounds and they are developing new methods to prevent generation of such compounds in the presence of tap water and salt.

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