It is used as a bleaching and disinfecting agent and in the manufacture of explosives, plastics and dyes.
It is also extremely irritating to the nose and throat and has suffocating qualities.
It is so corrosive that when stored in steel drums it can eat its way out of the drums within weeks.
Its biggest use in Australia is in the disinfection of tap water followed by use in the swimming pool and spa industry as a disinfectant.
How it works:
When chlorine is poured into water it breaks down into various chemical compounds including hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion. Both of these chemicals kill micro-organisms and bacteria by attacking the lipids in the cell walls and destroying the enzymes and structures inside the cell rendering them oxidized and harmless. The difference between the two chemicals is the speed at which they oxidize/kill micro organisms. Hypochlorous acid is able to oxidize organisms in several seconds while hypochlorite ion can take up to 30 minutes.
When chlorine is dosed/added into water, the organic substances in the water are broken down/oxidized forming new organic compounds called trihalomethanes. These compounds are carcinogenic/cancer causing.
Chlorine is made by passing an electric current through salt water. This process produces chlorine, hydrogen and sodium hydroxide. Chlorine is then changed into a liquid form by compressing the gas.
In a study reported in the American Journal of Public Health, Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee concluded that people who regularly drink tap water containing high levels of chlorine by-products had a greater risk of developing bladder and rectal cancers than people who drank un-chlorinated water. They reported that people drinking chlorinated water over a long period have a 21% increase in the risk of contracting bladder cancer and 38% increase in the risk of rectal cancer.
The contamination of our drinking water is directly related to the degree of contamination of our environment. Rainwater flushes air borne pollution from the skies which then washes over the land, picking up more pollution before running into rivers, aquifers, lakes and dams that supply our drinking water. This pollution is why our drinking water contains many herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals and why water filters are so important to our every day health.
With over 75,000 chemicals now in use it is no surprise that our drinking water is contaminated. More than 2000 toxic chemicals have been detected in Australian drinking water supplies many of which have been linked to cancer, illness and nervous disorders.
The majority of water treatment plants are also not designed to remove these toxic chemicals leaving this to be done by consumers themselves with water filters or water purification systems.
There has also been a demonstrated link between water chlorination and atherosclerosis (clogging or hardening of the arteries or blood vessels caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits, usually cholesterol) by Dr MV Joseph and Dr Jim Price in the 1960’s. Cholesterol is essential to life and is in all animal cells, however excessive cholesterol is considered unhealthy. Dr Jim Price MD discovered that excessive chlorine absorbed from chlorinated water through drinking, swimming or bathing reacts with cholesterol in the blood forming fatty deposits which accumulate along artery walls. This discovery is well documented and is backed by clinical studies dispelling many of the common myths promoted today. While reducing cholesterol intake will obviously reduce the problem, the reduction or removal of chlorine intake through our drinking water, showers, baths and pools would have more impact.
Heart attacks, atherosclerosis, heart disease and may other diseases are rare or of lower rates in countries such as China and Alaska. Even the Eskimos with their massive intakes of cholesterol are relatively free of heart attacks and cholesterol based health issues. More can be discovered in the book, Coronaries – Cholesterol – Chlorine, written by Dr Price.Contact Us For More Infomation On The Benefits Of Filtered Water