Chlorine and CANCER

on December 1 | in Water Filtration | by | with 8 Comments

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We Drink, Bathe & Swim In It

And yet we hardly ever think about it. What is it? Basically . . . bleach.

The addition of chlorine to our drinking water began in the late 1800s and became the standard in water treatment by 1904. For the most part, it remains the standard today. We do not use chlorine because it is the safest or even the most effective means of disinfection, we use it because it is the cheapest. In spite of all our technological advances, we essentially still pour bleach in our water before we drink it. The long-term effects of chlorinated drinking water are just now being recognized.

According to the U.S. Council Of Environmental Quality, “Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.”

Dangers and Health Side Effects of Chlorine (emphasis mine)

Would You Drink Something That Could Do This To You?

ukranian_presidentChlorine is usually thought of as a relatively safe disinfectant, but it’s not. When “chlorine is added to our water, it combines with other natural compounds to form Trihalomethanes (chlorination byproducts), or THMs. These chlorine byproducts trigger the production of free radicals in the body, causing cell damage, and are highly carcinogenic. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, ‘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.”¹

One of the byproducts of chlorine, dioxin, has been found by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be 300,000 times more potents a carcinogen than DDT. This is the same chemical that was used in an assassination attempt on Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. The attempt failed, but ingesting the poison resulted in permanent disfigurement and chronic health problems. The President was dosed ONE TIME during dinner with General Igor Smeshko, causing acute toxicity.

Tasteless but highly toxic, the dioxin Yushchenko ingested was administered in a dose probably less than 1 mg. A drop in a bowl of soup would have gone undetected, said Prodanchuk.

The Poisoning of Ukraine’s President

Although dioxin is present in much smaller concentrations in tap water, the problem is that it’s almost impossible for our bodies to break it down so it just stays with us. As it accumulates in our systems it can cause “cancer, organ disease, miscarriages, menstrual ailments, low birth weight, abnormal hair growth or a severe form of acne called chloracne.”²

Chloracne is actually more common than you might think – for some it simply looks like raw, red skin while others have more severe outbreaks. Unfortunately, that’s just one byproduct. Other compounds in chlorinated water have been linked to heart disease, adrenal fatigue, asthma and allergies.

Time To Change Our Ways

Ozone – which is the preferred way of treating water in Europe – is chemical free and low-cost. Currently about 350 U.S.  cities have ozone treatment plants. Mine, however, does not. Although most filters remove chlorine, few claim to effectively remove byproducts such as dioxin, so next time we’ll discuss a few filters that do. That’s right, enough with the scary stuff. Tomorrow is solution day!!!

Next Post in this Series: Mommypotamus’ Favorite Water Filter!

Photo Credit: nist6ss via Compfight cc

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8 Responses to Chlorine and CANCER

  1. Kristine says:

    No wonder I can’t breathe.

  2. [...] is what I found out. There are basically two options for dealing with fluoride, pharmaceuticals and chlorine byproducts: Reverse osmosis and The Berkey (which is an activated granular charcoal/activated alumina system). [...]

  3. Carl Thomas says:

    Wow, scary stuff. Not keen on politicians but that Russian block must feel lucky he’s still alive….

  4. [...] about eating fish because the media says fish are loaded with mercury, toxic PCB’s and dioxins? I get [...]

  5. [...] only does it remove chlorine and it’s toxic byproducts (oh my goodness, have you SEEN what dioxin can do to a person?), you can order a special additional filter that removes fluorides [...]

  6. Someone I know was recently diagnosed with what amounts to chlorine poisoning–or that is what I understand, in any case, excess chlorine in his body is contributing to illness. Is there any way to detox from this?

  7. Jen says:

    My family lives in MN and everyone loves to swim. We only have access to outdoor (lake) swimming a few months out of the year due to the climate – the rest of the time our only option is pool and all pools that we have access to are chlorinated. Are there ways to protect yourself while taking swimming lessons, for example? Or would you avoid altogether. My oldest daughter desperately wants to take lessons 2x/week and it is the one sport that she loves…however I’ve been holding off as I have concerns about the impact of chlorine on her 7 year old body. Honest feedback please!

  8. Abby says:

    Thanks for this post…this is really interesting…I grew up swimming in pools all my life without any issues, but this past summer, while I was pregnant, I would get pretty crazy hives after swimming in chlorine. It continued to happen even in the postpartum period so I haven’t been swimming since! Needless to say, it can’t be good for your skin or bodies, especially when you ate breathing it in at an indoor pool….

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