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?
Chlorine 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.
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!
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