When it comes to chemical additives in water one of the biggest things that keeps me skeptical of the way it is done is the fact that it is done without our consent. We have no choice. I believe that if it was in our best interest then we would at least have a choice in the matter. Yes, Chlorine does kill potentially harmful microorganisms, and water-borne diseases, but doesn’t that make it a pesticide? Is it safe to be drinking and absorbing a pesticide?
So what is Chlorine? Chlorine belongs to the same chemical group as fluorine, they belong to the halogen family of elements. You have probably smelled it when you go into swimming pools, it has that mild bleach smell and it can turn your hair green. We are advised to shower after swimming in a pool, but doesn’t the water that we are using to shower with contain Chlorine as well?
Chlorine in its natural form is a common element on the Earth. When at room temperature chlorine is a yellowish-green gas. This gas is very toxic. Chlorine vaporizes much faster than water, so when we shower we are actually absorbing and inhaling up to 50% more Chlorine than if we were to just drink the water. When we inhale this gas it is particularly harmful because it is going directly into our blood stream. According to the Environmental Protection agency Americans are consuming 300-600 times the amount of chlorine that is considered safe to ingest. Chlorine is known as a persistent chemical, which means that unlike other sanitation chemicals it does not break down.
Chlorine has been known for its apparent use to kill harmful microorganisms that are in our drinking water and has been added to our public water supply for the last 90 years. One of the first cases of adding Chlorine to the water as a disinfectant was in 1850 by John Snow when he attempted to disinfect the Broad Street Pump water supply in London after an outbreak of Cholera. In 1897, Sims Woodhead used “bleach solution” as a remedy to sterilize the water that was being distributed in Maidstone, England following a Typhoid outbreak. So, being that it basically is watered down bleach, is it safe for us to be ingesting and absorbing into our skin?
Another interesting fact is the regular use of de-chlorination tablets when filling up water for a fish tank to keep the fish healthy. If the fish need it purified out why would we want ourselves to regularly shower and drink that same water?
When chlorine is added to our water it reacts with other natural compounds to form Trihalomethanes which are by-products of chlorine. These by-products produce free radicals in the body, which trigger cell damage, and are highly carcinogenic. The Environmental Defense Fund states that: “Although concentrations of these carcinogens (THMs) are low, it is precisely these low levels that cancer scientists believe are responsible for the majority of human cancers in the United States.”
Here are some more quoted facts and statistics in regards to chlorine and its harmful nature:
“Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times. It is an insidious poison”. – Dr. Joseph M. Price, MD
“Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.”
– U.S. Council Of Environmental Quality
“The Chlorine problem is similar to that of air pollution, chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times!” –Dr. Robert Carlson, Highly respected
University of Minnesota Researcher
Breast Cancer Research (Hartford, CT)
50-60% higher levels of chlorination in the breast
tissue of women with breast cancer than women
without breast cancer.
What Can We Do?
Should you file a complaint to your city and request to have it removed? You can, but that probably won’t get you very far, as Chlorine does provide certain benefits and when that is the case most of the harmful effects are overlooked. It would end up being a long and tedious process, something that is probably not worth your time.
Fortunately, there is some good news here, chlorine is actually very easy to remove from tap water as most charcoal filters will remove it. Many standard pitcher filters claim to remove 99% of Chlorine found in tap water, but based on my research I have found that most of them do not remove the THM’s from the water, which are the by-products that are now being linked to various cancers and miscarriages. When it comes to regular pitcher type filters, Omni (www.omni-water-filters) and Teledyne (www.teledynewaterquality.com) have been shown to be significantly better in removing the THM’s, as well as Chlorine from the water, but there are also some more effective higher-end filters. Any reverse osmosis system is sure to do the job, and is highly recommended. Not only because these filters will remove Chlorine, but also because of their capability to remove Fluoride. In the end clean, safe drinking water is a cornerstone to good health, so why not take some steps to ensure you have access to it!
Okay, so what about the water that we shower in? There are some simple attachments that can be bought and easily installed onto your already existing showerhead. Not only will you not be inhaling and absorbing this chemical into your body like a sponge, but you will begin to notice much softer skin and hair as a result!
It’s time to take back our health!
This article was featured in the January issue of CE Magazine. Check out CE’s FREE Magazine.
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