Chlorine has been hailed as a the miracle of the modern world. Its disinfecting properties have been used to help eliminate many water-borne diseases. Many cities water systems through out the world treat their water with chlorine to insure what is called “safe” drinking water. Today we are not going to argue if chlorine is needed to deliver clean safe drinking water. We are going to look at what price this safe drinking water has cost our bodies.
What is Chlorine?
Chlorine is a poisonous, greenish-yellow gas described as having a choking odor. It is a very corrosive, hazardous chemical. Usually combined with other chemicals, it is used to disinfect water, purify metals, bleach wood pulp and make other chemicals. You use chlorine in the form of bleach in laundry. Remember what it does if you get it on your clothes? Those white spots and holes don’t help to make you fashionable, well at least to most they don’t.
How much Chlorine is in my water? What does it do?
About 90% of the water supplies in America have chlorine added to the water. The proposed federal drinking water standard for chlorine is 4 parts per million (ppm). People can detect chlorine levels as low as 0.5 parts per million. It is not unheard of for water supplies to contain more than 4 parts per million. Look on a pool website and it says don’t even swim in a pool that is over 4 parts per million.
“Chlorine kills pathogens such as bacteria and viruses by breaking the chemical bonds in their molecules. Disinfectants that are used for this purpose consist of chlorine compounds which can exchange atoms with other compounds, such as enzymes in bacteria and other cells. When enzymes come in contact with chlorine, one or more of the hydrogen atoms in the molecule are replaced by chlorine. This causes the entire molecule to change shape or fall apart. When enzymes do not function properly, a cell or bacterium will die.” Lenntech
The main idea behind adding chlorine to our water supply is to disinfect it, the water supply pipes leading to your home and in your home. This is done to deal with the dirty water that is becoming the large underlying issue. Runoff from lands along with the recycling of our water leads to a very contaminated product.
What can Chlorine do to my body?
We are assured that the chlorine in the water will not harm us, but wait a second. If it disinfects the pipes in my home that must mean it is still active, but we are told by the authorities that the levels of chlorine in our water are to low to harm us. Poison is poison even if you take just a little bit. It must effect the body in some way maybe it just takes years to show up, lets take a look.
Trihalomethanes (THMs) are toxins created when the chlorine in our water supply reacts with other naturally-occurring elements. The big issue is these THMs then enter our body when we drink the chlorinated water. A wide spectrum of health issues has been linked to THMs ranging from asthma and eczema to cancer and heart disease. According to Dr. Joseph M. Price, MD, in Moseby’s Medical Dictionary, “Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times. It is an insidious poison”.
Morris, with epidemiologist Thomas C. Chalmers and his colleagues at Harvard, used a new technique called meta-analysis to combine the results from the 10 best studies, yielding the new findings. They report that people drinking chlorinated water over long periods have a 21% increase in the risk of contracting bladder cancer and a 38% increase in the risk of rectal cancer. “I am quite convinced, based on this study, that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water.”, says Robert D. Morris of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who directed the new study.
“The drinking of chlorinated water has finally been officially linked to an increased incidence of colon cancer. An epidemiologist at Oak Ridge Associated Universities completed a study of colon cancer victims and non-cancer patients and concluded that the drinking of chlorinated water for 15 years or more was conducive to a high rate of colon cancer.” Health Freedom News, January/February 1987
“Long-term drinking of chlorinated water appears to increase a person’s risk of developing bladder cancer as much as 80%,” according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Some 45,000 Americans are diagnosed every year with bladder cancer. St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press, December 17, 1987
Many of these studies are not new and were done over 20 years ago. Yet if you look on our public water works websites you will see that they say there have been no studies done that indicate any cancer risks or other issues to humans from drinking chlorinated water.
“Chlorine itself is not believed to be the problem. Scientists suspect that the actual cause of the bladder cancers is a group of chemicals that form as result of reactions between the chlorine and natural substances and pollutants in the water.” (organic matter such as leaves and twigs.) St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press, December 17, 1987
These studies happened over 20 years ago, but yet we are still told by the authorizes that there is on harm from drinking chlorinated water. Look on your local water treatment website and you will often see that they state no studies have been performed that show evidence of harm in humans from drinking chlorinated water.
What can I do to remove the Chlorine?
There are many solutions available to us to clean up our drinking water. A simple carbon charcoal filter system can remove chlorine from drinking water. But before you run out and by some water filtration system stay with us this week as we will look at other issues to be aware of with our drinking water. And yes we will talk about specific options available to you, so you can have truly “safe” drinking water.
In the end it is our own responsibility to take care of our bodies. You already knew that because you are here on Cooking God’s Way learning more about eating and living healthy.
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