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How Bad Is Chlorine For Your Health?

Chlorine can be beneficial in our everyday lives. It can be used to disinfect things, whiten your clothes and keep your swimming pool safe. The question is whether the benefits of chlorine outweigh the problems.

Chlorine in Our Drinking Water

Many municipalities introduce chlorine into the water supply. The water is then piped into homes and businesses in the local area. This water supply is also supplied to schools.

The government isn’t trying to make you sick. They are trying to ensure that the water is free from bacteria and algae. Chlorine also kills mold and helps to eliminate foul odors and tastes.

The chlorine in our water enters our body when we drink it. Many people don’t realize that chlorine is also absorbed into our skin. Chlorine, when added to other natural elements that can be in the water causes free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause cancer and cell damage. It also produces dioxin which can cause liver problems, hardening of the arteries, birth defects and cancer. Bottled water or a good water purification system will eliminate chlorine in your water.

Chlorine in Cleaning Products

A vast majority of the household cleaning products that we use every day contain chlorine. The bleach that we use to keep our white clothing looking its whitest is chlorine bleach. Many bathroom cleaners use chlorine bleach as an ingredient.

Manufacturing companies make chlorine based products as an aid to disinfecting and cleaning. Chlorine is certainly a well-known way to effectively clean. There are some people that use bleach and water to clean and disinfect the rooms in their homes.

Bleach can exacerbate an asthma attack or create temporary respiratory problems because of its intense fumes. Proper ventilation is always wise when using bleach. It can burn your eyes and cause a skin irritation. Mixing bleach with other products such as ammonia can create a toxic gas. Once bleach gets broken down in water, the remnants are merely salt and water so it is not harmful to the environment. For household use, oxygen bleach is safer.

Chlorine in Swimming Pools

Anyone that has a swimming pool knows about weekly maintenance. In order to keep the pool sparkling clean and healthy to swim in, chlorine must be added to the pool’s water. Without clean water, algae can grow and mosquitoes and other bugs can breed in the swimming pool.

Chlorine can cause several health problems. Respiratory problems and lung damage have been linked with the use of chlorine in pools. Reproductive problems such as miscarriage and stillbirth have been reported. There are even cases of bladder cancer associated with chlorinated swimming pools.

There are alternatives to the use of chlorine. New technologies called Ozone and Ultraviolet are safer options. They are costlier to start however you will eventually save money on pool maintenance and be healthier as well.

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