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Chlorine In Our Water

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Chlorine is a damaging chemical to any living organism it comes into contact with. Chlorine is the 17th atomic element and readily combines with other elements due to its unstable molecular structure.  Chlorine is an extreme toxin to humans even at very low concentrations.  Respiratory problems are common due to the inhalation of chlorine gas from chlorinated water supplies. Chlorinated liquids (such as bleach) burn the skin and many common fabrics it comes into contact with. Chlorine has a unmistakeable pungent odor, detectable by humans at low concentrations of just 0.5 ppm (parts per million). Chlorine’s deadly capabilities were recognized and exploited during WW2 when it was used by the German forces due to its 100% fatality rate when inhaled at concentrations of 1000 ppm.

Chlorine has now been strongly linked to many critical health issues by doctors, scientists and medical authorities.  The evidence is so strong in fact that on Feb, 1st 1994 the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Carol Browner, announced a full scale plan favoring a broad ban on chlorine.  In this unprecedented move to reduce human exposure to chlorine the manufacturers or paper, textiles, pharmaceuticals and water treatment facilities alike would have to eliminate its usage.  In order for these industries to develop alternatives, time was generously given as the development of these alternative were estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars.  To date, the use of chlorine within these industries has not stopped.

This announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was greatly influenced by the mounting evidence from doctors and scientific researchers alike of DBP‘s (a by-product of chlorine) being 10,000 times more toxic to human health then chlorine itself.  DBP’s (disinfection by-products) form due to chlorine’s unstable molecular structure acting to combine with NOM (Natural Organic Matter) to form trihalomethanes (THM’s) and haloacetic acids (HAA5’s). Virtually all drinking water sources are rich in Natural Organic Matter and also in Chlorine, which means that there is a significant presence of DBP’s.  This is the direct cause behind virtually every treated water supply having high concentrations of trihalomethanes (THM’s) and haloacetic acids (HAA5’s) classed as DBP’s.  Out of all of the toxins found in your water these DBP’s are far more dangerous to the health of you and your loved ones then other common contaminants found in drinking water.

Of the DBP’s Class of contaminants (THM’s) Trihalomethanes have been verified as Cancer Group B Carcinogens, meaning they have been proven to cause cancer is a wide variety of animals tested.  Reproductive problems have also been directly linked to THM’s in both Humans and Animals.  Human Studies have confirmed that long term exposure to chlorine treated water will more then double an individuals risk of developing bladder and rectal cancers.

Trihalomethanes (THM) are a group of four chemicals that are formed when chlorine reacts and combines with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in the water supply. The trihalomethanes are chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform. The EPA set a U.S. standard in 2003 calling for a maximum annual average of 80 ppb (Parts per billion) for city and municipal water treatment plants.  However this has been greatly unenforceable due to the great cost to the individual municipality to upgrade their water treatment systems to these standards.  As such, there has been little progress and the problem persists throughout.

There have been many studies conducted by both health authorities and universities which all concur that Chlorine in combination with natural occurring matter to form THM’s is causing major health implications to the population being exposed.


Waller et Al,. 1998 study California Dept of Health.

“Women with high consumption of tap water (≥ 5 glasses/day) containing high levels of total trihalomethanes (TTHM) (≥ 75 μg/L) had an increased odds of spontaneous abortion on the order of 80%…”

Effects of Trihalomethanes (THM’s) in Public Drinking Supplies; From the “Reproductive Care program of Nova Scotia”  “Department of community health and epidemiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dalhousie University.

“Much of the focus on the Human health effects from exposure to chlorination by-products has been related to cancer risks, particularly bladder and colon cancer…”

US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Athens, GA 30605, USA

“Although drinking-water disinfection by-products (DBPs) have been studied for the last 30 years, significant, new concerns have arisen. These concerns include adverse reproductive and developmental effects”

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