MWA, PWA and the National Food Institute jointly confirm tap water is scientifically-proven safe and rice cooking with tap water will not lead to cancer risks caused by Trihalomethanes…
Mr. Prinya Yamasamit, Governor of the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) and President of the Thai Waterworks Association (TWWA), said that widely shared information in social media indicating that cooking rice with tap water will create carcinogenic Trihalomethanes is completely untrue. MWA followsguidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning water safety across its entire tap water production process, starting from water sources, production through to water supply to households in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and SamutPrakarn provinces. MWA has consistently conducted water quality assessments in terms of physiology, chemistry and biochemistry, and checks the quantities of Trihalomethanes in the water. The results show that the tap water meets thedrinking water standards of Japan and the United States.
MWA uses chlorine, a chemical used widely around the world to disinfectwater and maintain water quality,throughout the entire tap water production process. A minimum of 0.2 milligramsof free chlorine is used per one liter of water, an amount which is in accordance with the WHO standards. Chlorine content not exceeding 5 milligrams per liter of water does not pose any harmful effects tohuman health.
To increase public confidence in the quality of tap water, MWA sent a team of scientists to conduct water quality assessments at the National Food Institute. The assessment results show that the quality of tap water is within safety standards, containing an average sum of ratio of 0.29 of the four key types of Trihalomethanesfound in tap water, which is below the limit of 1 set by WHO, and an average 65.11 milligrams per liter (combined THMs), thus meeting the drinking water standards of the United States (not exceeding 80 milligrams of THMs per liter of water).
Mr.Somchai Montburinont, Deputy Governor of the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA)and Acting Governor of PWA, said that PWA was in charged with supplying clean and quality water to people in 74 provinces across Thailand (provinces outside of Bangkok, Nonthaburi and SamutPrakarn) through its 234 branches nationwide. PWA affirmed that tap water could be used for cooking rice.
Trihalomethanes, a group of cancer-causing chemicals, can be formed when chlorine reacts with organic substances in water. However, these carcinogenic agents are produced only when free chlorine reacts with micro organic substances such as humic and fulvic acids. The larger organic carbohydrate molecules in rice react only slowly with free chlorine. PWA is also careful to control the quantity of free chlorine in tap water distributed to consumer households at amounts between 0.2-0.5 milligrams per liter of water, which is considered a proper and adequate levelto disinfect the water. This is coupled with the fact that free chlorine evaporates rapidly when the water is heated. Therefore, it is unlikely that cooking with tap water will lead to the creation of Trihalomethanes. Nonetheless, PWA regularly runs tests on its tap water to determine quantities of Trihalomethanes.
"According to water quality results from 2012-2018, the content of Trihalomethanes in tap water has consistently been in line with the WHO guidelines, so people can be fully confident that rice cooking with tap water is really safe,” said Mr. Somchai.
Mr. Yongvut Saovapruk, President of the National Food Institute (NFI), the Ministry of Industry,pointed out that NFI had a mission to promote food safety by disseminating useful and scientifically-proven information to consumers. In 2016, NFI conducted tests to determine whether it was safe to cook rice using tap water, which measured the level of Trihalomethanes in tap water, rinse water, water used for cooking rice and the cooked rice. It was proven that cooking rice with tap water did not increase the level of Trihalomethanes and did not pose any cancer risk to consumers, confirming that using tap water to cook rice was extremely safe.
Dr. Boonchai Issarapisit, Director of Wellnesscity, said his reputation was damaged whenhis photo was posted along with falseand misleading information that using tap water to cook rice was dangerous. "I can confirm that this information is untrue,” he said. "I do not want people to be misled by false information that may stir worries about tap water consumption. This may prompt people to pay for water purifiers and drinking water despite the fact that tap water is clean and safe. I would like to stress the ‘be sure before sharing’ concept to all. If you share or release false information, you will violate Thailand’s Computer-Related Crime Act.”
With information today being shared rapidly among social media, MWA would like to ask people to exercise judgmentwhen receiving and sharing information, as disseminating false information is an act in violation of the Computer-Related Crime Act B.E. 2561.