Chlorine in Tap Water
Chlorine is a strong oxidizing disinfectant that has been used to treat drinking water supplies for more than 60 years. Chlorine kills waterborne diseases and microorganisms commonly found in water. It does a marvelous job at eliminating most pathogens from the water we drink. However, it seems these advancements have come at a price to our health. While we recognize and applaud the benefits chlorine has brought to us, it’s time we also protect ourselves from the harms of drinking chlorinated water. Chlorine is considered a pesticide that is designed to attack and kill living organisms. This is why it is so effective at eliminating bacteria from the water supply.
According to the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality, “Cancer risk among people using chlorinated water is as much as 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.”
Breast cancer, which now affects one in every eight women in North America, has recently been linked to the accumulation of chlorine compounds in the breast tissue. A study carried out in Hartford, Connecticut, the first of its kind in North America found that “women with breast cancer have 50% to 60% higher levels of organochlorines (chlorination byproducts) in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer.”
Showering in Chlorinated Water
One of the most shocking components to all of these studies is that up to two thirds of our harmful exposure to chlorine is due to inhalation of steam and skin absorption while showering. A warm shower opens up the pores of the skin and allows for accelerated absorption of chlorine and other chemicals in water. The steam we inhale while showering can contain up to 50 times the level of chemicals than tap water due to the fact that chlorine and most other contaminants vaporize much faster and at a lower temperature than water. Inhalation is a much more harmful means of exposure since the chlorine gas (chloroform) we inhale goes directly into our bloodstream.
Drinking Chlorinated Water
Chlorine is considered a pesticide that is designed to attack and kill living organisms. When you drink chlorinated water, the chlorine is only partially filtered out by your kidneys and digestive system. The rest is absorbed into your soft tissues. When chemicals build up in the body you can start to feel sluggish, get more frequent headaches and have a harder time recovering from colds and flu’s. Long term exposure to chlorinated water also increases the risk of developing bladder, colon and rectal cancers. While we recognize and applaud the benefits chlorine has brought to improving sanitation in the industrial world, it’s time we also protect ourselves from the harms of drinking chlorinated water.