Chlorine, that sharp-smelling disinfectant has been used in the USA since 1908 to zap water-born killers such as cholera and typhoid. On one hand, it’s a public health miracle that has vastly increased the lifespan of Americans. But there’s a dark side to the miracle cure. Too much chlorine gulped from tap water is also a toxin, linked to serious health effects from cancer to miscarriages. Mounting evidence shows that it’s wise to remove chlorine from our tap water whenever possible.
Here Are Top 5 Health Dangers Of Chlorinated Water ...
1 - Dangers of Chlorinated Water Include Bladder and Rectal Cancer - Research shows that chlorine reacts with organic matter in tap water to create THMs or trihalomethanes. In the human body, this leads to the flourishing of free radicals, linked to everything from premature aging to heart disease and cancer. Because the water we drink lingers in the bladder and rectum, these organs are especially prone to free-radical damage from chlorine. Chlorine may be responsible for 5,000 cases of bladder cancer and 8,000 cases of rectal cancer per year in the United States.
2 - Ingesting More Chlorine is a Risk Factor for Breast Cancer - Chlorinated water puts us at risk for other cancers, too. A study of women with breast cancer found they had 50 to 60 percent higher levels of chlorine by-products in their breast tissue than women with no cancer. If we want to limit chlorine ingestion, purified water, not bottled water, is a safer choice. 64 percent of bottled water is just municipal tap water poured into a plastic container.
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3 - Chlorinated Water is Related to Birth Defects, Miscarriage - Trihalomethanes aka THMs (disinfectant by products related to chlorine) have been also been associated with birth defects. A study of 400,000 infants in Taiwan showed that women exposed to higher amounts of chlorine in drinking water were more likely to have children with birth defects. These included cleft palates and serious heart and brain problems.
A large-scale California study also found that chlorine in drinking water may be related to a higher risk of miscarriage. Women in their first trimester who drank five or more glasses of chlorinated water daily were nearly twice as likely to have a miscarriage.
4 - Chlorine’s Bad Effects on Good Gut Bacteria - The human biome, our colony of gut bacteria, is the foundation for human health. While eating a variety of vegetables and prebiotics like yogurt will enrich our biome, chlorine has the opposite effect.
Chlorine can wipe out good as well as bad bacteria in the body. Animal studies show that an increase in chlorine leads to less diversity of good bacteria in the biome. That’s a problem, because when it comes to gut bacteria, the more the merrier. A variety of good bacteria helps our immune system ward off illness.
Surge in Food Allergies Linked to Chlorine in Water - Food allergies are dramatically on the rise in the U.S. Emergency room visits for anaphylaxis in children doubled between 2009 and 2013, for instance. Scientists have found a link to chlorine. In one study, adults with high urine levels of a chlorine by-product were much more likely to have a food allergy. The “excessive use” of chlorine may contribute to the spike in food allergies in Western societies, the report concluded.
For more information on chlorine and free radicals, watch the video below, which graphically depicts how chlorine damages living cells.
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