- Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Chemicals used by Duke Energy to curb air pollution are being blamed for a rise in a type of contaminant found in Charlotte’s drinking water.

Multiple media organizations report the city’s water system reports increased levels of a chemical called trihalomethane. THM can cause liver or kidney damage, but Mecklenburg County Medical Director Steven Keener says the concentration is low and the water is safe.

The chemical is a by-product of the chlorine used to kill bacteria in the water after being heated by the summer sun.

Chlorine also can react with bromide, which Duke Energy used to wash coal before being burned to generate electricity. The bromide wash reduced the amount of toxic mercury released into the air. The country’s largest electric company stopped using bromide in May.

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