Chlorine: Friend or Foe?

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It’s common knowledge that all city water purveyors add chlorine to their public drinking water supply. Chlorine has single handedly – by itself – saved millions of lives throughout the world. Chlorine has made it possible for all cities to flourish by providing miles and miles of safe drinking water to every faucet connect to the city water supply.

Chlorine is used almost universally in the treatment of public drinking water because of its total affect on harmful bacteria and other waterborne, disease-causing organisms. Chlorine is a poison that is very effective at killing bacteria thus providing millions around the world with bacteriologic ally safe water.

Most people assume that since chlorine is in our water supply and our water has no bacteria present that it is safe to drink and bathe in. Nothing can be further from the truth!

First alarming fact: chlorine will not kill cryptosporidium cysts and, therefore, cannot guarantee microbiologically safe water.

Second alarming fact: as stated above, chlorine is a poison. Some people think it’s okay to consume this poison in small amounts, but the fact remains the same…poison is poison.


Obviously if one were to quickly ingest a glass of Clorox, they would die a very violent death which is not suitable for description in this article. So, don’t be fooled that a little chlorine is okay to ingest.

Our bodies are remarkable at filtering all the chemicals and junk we throw at it, but what happens is our bodies collect and store up these poisons and when our body filters are full, then the poison spills out into our bodies. Scientific studies have linked chlorine and chlorination by-products to cancer of the bladder, liver, stomach, rectum, and colon, as well as heart disease and arteriosclerosis, anemia, high blood pressure and allergic reactions. There is also evidence that shows chlorine can destroy protein in our body and cause adverse affects on skin and hair.

“A new statistical analysis indicates that people who drink chlorinated water run a 21% grater risk of bladder cancer and a 38% greater risk of rectal cancer than people who drink water with little or no chlorine.” Science News, July 1992.

Third alarming fact: one doesn't have to drink chlorinated water to get chlorine poisoning. A little known fact – breathing vaporized chlorine gas while showering, bathing, hot tubing, cooking or washing dishes has been proven to be worse than drinking chlorinated water. Besides breathing chlorine vapors, we also absorb the poison through our skin.


“Showering is suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform in nearly every home because of the chlorine in the water.” Environmental Protection Agency.

“Skin absorption of contaminants has been underestimated and ingestion may not constitute the sole or even primary route of chlorine exposure.” American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 74, 1984.

Since chlorine is required by public health regulation to be present in all public drinking water supplies, it is up to each individual consumer to remove it in their homes.


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Chris Kidwell
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