Chlorine - why should i be concerned?
Simply stated chlorine is a pesticide, as defined by the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), which sole purpose is to kill living organisms. When we consume water containing chlorine, it destoys cells and tissues inside our body. Breast cancer, which now effects 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 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."
Inhalation vs. Drinking
One of the most shocking components to all studies is that up to 2/3s of our harmful exposure to chlorine is due toinhalation 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 blood stream.
When we drink contaminated water the toxins are partially filtered out by our kidneys and digestive system. Chlorine vapors are known to be a strong irritant to the sensitive tissue and bronchial passages inside our lungs, it was used as a chemical weapon in World War II. The inhalation of chlorine is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children.
Bad Taste & Smell
Aside from all the health risks related to chlorine in our water, it is the primary cause of bad taste and odor in drinking water. The objectionable taste causes many people to turn to other less healthful beverages like soft drinks, tea or other sweetened drinks. A decreased intake of water, for any reason, can only result in a lower degree of health.
The good news is that chlorine is one of the easiest substances to remove from our water. For that reason it logically should serve it's purpose of keeping our water free from harmful bacteria and water borne diseases right up to the time of consumption, where it should then be removed by quality home filtration.