In recent years, there have been numerous concerns about chlorine.
Although chlorine disinfects drinking water, it also reacts with traces
of other material of particles, such as dissolved solids, in the water
and forms trace amounts of substances known as disinfection byproducts
(DBPs). The most common of these are known as trihalomethanes (THMs).
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified
THMs as a probable carcinogen.
Chlorine is said by some to be the original persistent organic
pollutant (POP). POPs persist in the environment for decades and
research by Columbia University suggests they may remain for centuries.
Many now-banned substances (e.g., Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs) and many
others like them all have one legal cousin-- chlorine. Dr. Joe
Thornton, a biologist at Oregon University, states in his book Pandora's Poison
that all of the organochlorines contaminate the environment, wildlife,
our food and our bodies. They have just one antidote: "ban them all".
An organochlorine is a class of chemicals formed when chlorine gas
produced by the chemical industry comes into contact with organic
matter in industrial processes and in agricultural uses.
There are 11,000 organochlorines that are known to exist. They are both
persistent and stable in the environment, and they accumulate in the
fatty tissues of animals and humans. They have been in existent since
1940 and now blanket the entire planet. Everyone on earth now eats,
drinks, and breathes a constantly changing and poorly characterized
soup of organochlorines, said Dr. Joe Thornton.
Organochlorines have been linked to immune system suppression, falling
sperm counts and infertility, as well as learning disability in
Notable Quotes and Facts
study by the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality showed that the
cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than
among those whose water does not contain chlorine.
Dr. Lance Wallace of the
Environmental Protection Agency states that "Taking long, hot showers
is a health risk exposing us to a greater extent to the toxic chemicals
contained in water."
Dr. Niels Skakkebaek of the
University of Copenhagen conducted a study that demonstrates how the
average human sperm counts have dropped in Denmark by almost 50% due to
the presence of man-made chlorine found in human tissues and breast
Dalhousie University in Nova
Scotia, found that high levels of trihalomethanes, a by-product of
chlorine in drinking water, significantly increased the risk of
Dr. J. M. Price states that
the cause of arteriosclerosis and resulting heart attacks and strokes
is none other than ubiquitous chlorine in our drinking water.
A professor of Water
Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh claims that exposure to
vaporized chemicals in the water supplies through showering, bathing,
and inhalation is 100 times greater than through drinking water.
The National Academy of
Sciences estimate that over 1000 people die in the United States each
year from cancer caused by ingesting the contaminates in water. Tens of
thousands are made acutely ill.
Dr. Thornton warns, that the
levels of dioxin in the environment can only increase, as long as
organochlorines are produced. "Once we're got them, we're got them, and
there's no safe way of disposing of them.... Once they're in you,
there's no way to get them out."
Dr. Riddle suggests that
since chlorine is required by health regulations to be present in all
public drinking water supplies, it is up to the individual to remove
the chlorine by "Point of entry systems at the home and Point of use
systems" elsewhere when possible. It is not expensive to filter and
with understanding of the many cautions mention in this article, all
research states that all chlorine must be removed prior to consumption.
Many Valuable Uses (Worth Noting):
Surely many of us would not be here if chlorine had not been used to
eradicate the plagues and diseases that were prevalent prior to 1904.
Your parents or grandparents might have been among those who fell
victim to those water-borne diseases. It was chlorine that increased
life expectancy from 45 years to 77 years.
Since 1846, when chlorine was first used as a germicide, it has become
much more than most people realize. Due to its ability to combine and
react with other elements and compounds, chlorine is now a key building
block of modern life. Almost every product made today benefits from
chlorine chemistry. Chlorine makes water safe to drink, produces
life-saving drugs and medical equipment, shields police and fire
fighters, protects crops, comes to the rescue in disasters, and cleans
and disinfects everything in or around the home. Hotels, nursing homes,
hospitals, restaurants, schools, businesses and manufacturers all
depend on chlorine.
It is also completely true that what we don't know about chlorine may
harm us in numerous ways (this is a summary of a 2 part series
published by Intec). For complete article, contact Intec.