AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

All over the United States chlorine, and its chemically similar cousin chloramine, is dumped into swimming pools and municipal water supplies. This is supposedly meant to kill bacteria in the water and prevent illness. However, these chemicals aren’t so widely used because they’re the safest or most effective options. It’s because they’re the cheapest.

Unfortunately, an abundance of information shows that these poisons are a far bigger health threat than the germs they’re supposed to protect us from. Here are some things that you might not know about chlorine.

Chlorinated Water Facts About Chlorinated Water You Need To Know

Promotes Asthma and Allergies

Numerous sources of research have found that people who swim in chlorinated pools have a significantly higher incidence of allergies and asthma. Chlorine is a highly volatile chemical and reacts with other substances in the environment and the proteins in the human body. The by-products of these chemical reactions are called trihalomethanes (THMs). In swimming pools, the greatest concentration of THMs is not in the water but above it, right where swimmers inhale them the most. Indoor pools possess even larger concentrations due to the lack of fresh air circulation.

Extended exposure to THMs has been shown to suppress immunity, increase sensitivity to allergens, and cause respiratory distress. Worse still, THMs accumulate in the blood and cause problems long after a person is done swimming.

Creates Chloroform

The next time you want to wash your hands with antibacterial soap, you might want to reconsider. Triclosan, the antimicrobial agent used in most of these products, has been shown to react with chlorine in tap water. This reaction produces chloroform gas, a highly toxic substance, in quantities significant enough to cause health problems. Chloroform is a known carcinogen as well as a central nervous system depressant. It is also known to cause heart and respiratory problems. Always read ingredient lists and avoid using triclosan-containing products with tap water. Besides hand soap, these include some kinds of dish detergent, toothpaste, mouthwash, and makeup.

Causes Heart Problems

The fact that chlorine causes heart problems was first discovered in Jersey City, which also happened to be the location of the country’s first large-scale water chlorination project. The old studies showed that the incidence of heart disease in people age 50 and older was directly connected to how much chlorinated tap water they consumed. Chlorine interacts with the cholesterol in the body to cause arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, as well as plaque buildup. This occurrence is, in fact, why cholesterol-rich diets have come to be blamed for heart disease.

Increases Cancer Risk

Perhaps one of the most threatening aspects of widespread water chlorination is that it dramatically increases the risk of several cancers, particularly those of the bladder, kidneys, and stomach. One study done in the UK found that people who bathed regularly in high-chlorine water were 83 percent more like to develop tumors than people who used low-chlorine water. Similarly, people drinking water high in chlorine were 35 percent more likely to suffer from bladder cancer. Regular use of swimming pools was shown to increase that risk by 57 percent.

While the availability of clean water is important, so is the availability of safe water. Chlorine is used by water suppliers because it is cheap and increases their profit margins, not because it’s better. Avoiding chlorinated water is nearly impossible these days, but you can reduce your exposure. Consider installing a whole-house water filter, drinking bottled water, or having a well dug.

About Author : Kristin Folger blogs about various tech and engineering topics, contributing articles for the pipe bending experts of Houston’s Bend-IT Inc.
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