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Is Chlorine bad for health?

As a chemical element, Chlorine falls between bromine and fluorine on the periodic table. It is used to disinfect and reduce microbial hazards. Chlorine is commonly used in cleaning the water in a swimming pool.

Why is Chlorine Bad

Though chlorine may work well for disinfecting, drinking water that is laced with chlorine may come with side effects. When the residents of Roseto, Pennsylvania started to drink the chlorinated water from the tap, instead of their usual spring water, the rate of those having heart attacks increased significantly.

Bladder and Rectal Cancers

The by-products from chlorine increase a person’s chances of getting rectal and bladder cancers. Environmental Health Perspectives published this study.

Gastrointestinal Cancer

Americans who drink chlorinated water increase their chances of having some cancers by about 50%. Some Americans who died from gastrointestinal cancer also drank a lot of chlorinated water making the connection concerning.

Heart Problems

When a pregnant woman drinks chlorinated water, it increases the chances that her child may have heart issues, brain problems or cleft palate.

A 2008 study carried out in Taiwan on nearly 400,000 kids backed this up.

Allergies

The rise of food allergies in the western world might be triggered by the byproducts of chlorinated water. A study done by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York helps to support these claims. Elina Jerschow, assistant professor of allergy and immunology, states that high levels of dichlorophenol-containing pesticides can weaken food tolerance in some people.

Dries out the skin and hair

If you swim regularly then chlorine can be drying to skin and hair. Chlorine has zero moisturizing properties and is corrosive. The minute you get out of the pool you should shower with a chlorine neutralizing soap.

How does it end up in product

Since chlorine doesn’t naturally occur in foods, it is safe to say that chlorine and its by-product ends up in a product because it was added. It can either be added as an ingredient directly or be present in small amounts after containers were disinfected.

Which products can Chlorine be found?

The food industry uses chlorine to wash fruits and vegetables and traces can be left on them. If this concerns you then buying organic foods can help.

The most popular source of chlorine is chlorinated tap water that is likely in your home.

How Can You Recognize It

Unfortunately, foods that are contaminated by chlorine does not have any markings on the label. If a product contains chlorine as an ingredient, then several warnings about the potential dangers will be listed, because the concentration of it is likely to be high.

How to avoid Chlorine?

Chlorine might be difficult or impossible to avoid altogether. If your tap water has chlorine added, you can buy filters to remove or reduce chlorine before it is ingested. If you have swimming pools, you might want to use alternatives to chlorine.

Chlorine alternatives are not widespread because they are much more costly than chlorine. However, the following are alternatives to using chlorine in swimming pools.

Ionizer

An ionizer uses two metals such as copper and silver together, distributed throughout the water using low voltage current. This reaction causes a disinfection reaction.

PHMP

There is another chemical that is better for your body than chlorine and that is another chemical called PHMP. Using PHMP however is a process that includes using hydrogen peroxide, filters and perhaps other items. This can increase the cost tremendously but will lower the intake of chlorine.

More about chlorine alternatives

In some cases, alternatives to chlorine will not eliminate using chlorine entirely, but significantly reduce the amount you use. If you have a home pool and use it regularly, especially if you have children you might consider the options.

Five ways to reduce the effect of chlorine on your body

If you need to swim in a chlorine pool you can take the following steps to reduce chlorine absorption on your skin and hair

  1. Mix one teaspoon of vitamin C powder (sodium ascorbate) with 4 ounces of water and spray all over your body, before and after a swim. Vitamin C neutralizes chlorine.
  2. Get your hair wet before you enter a pool. If your hair is already wet, then there isn’t much room for the chlorinated water to settle. For extra protection, use the vitamin C mixture above to saturate hair.
  3. Apply a layer of oil on your skin before going into the pool. It is preferable to use a natural oil such as coconut or olive oil.
  4. You can also purchase body wash and moisturizing products which will help to repair your skin.
  5. Protect your hair with a swim cap and eyes with swim goggles. If your silicone swim cap has trouble staying on, try putting a lycra one under it.
Chlorine is good for cleaning but not good for your health

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