Health Effects of Chlorine in Water

Chlorine in Water

Chlorine is a natural element; its symbol is Cl, and 17 is the atomic number that identifies it on the periodic table. It is a dangerous toxin that has many uses, from disinfecting and bleaching.

In small amounts, like liquid and gas forms can be poisonous. In its gaseous form, chlorine has a pale green color and strong smell that affects breathing system in humans. In its solid form, it has a greenish yellow color. It is abundant in nature as chlorine ion, found in a lot of quantities in the salt of the earth. Many animals, including humans, need chlorine.

After decades using chlorine, epidemiological studies in populations consuming water treated with chlorine have been unable to establish a direct causal relationship to any disease, including cancer. This conclusion has been recognized by the World Health Organization. In 1990, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, assessed all studies on the potential risk of potable water through chlorination and determined that chlorine cannot be classified as carcinogenic .

But, there is a limit to what we can physically tolerate. Even taking a long bath increases the risk that a person has to chlorine exposure because the chemical can enter the body through skin absorption or through the eyes, nose and ears.

If the recommended values for water treatment with chlorine are respected, it won’t be any reasons for an adverse health reaction to occur. According to a field survey, chlorine is a substance in disuse for cleaning pools. There are alternative methods that can be used to keep pools disinfected, including silver and copper ions generators.

It is very difficult to determine the level of toxicity. Chlorine has been used for a long time to disinfect our drinking water; it controls the growth of harmful bacteria such as Giardia lamblia and E.coli. Care should be taken when bathing or drinking water.

There are several parameters involved in the effects it can have on people:

• Its concentration in the breathing atmosphere,

• Time exposure,

• Personal reaction, which varies with age and physical condition of each person’s  resistance.

3 ways of chlorine Common exposure:

• Skin absorption from the water and air

• Drinking and eating

• Breathing fumaroles that chlorine can create

It is important to know that the hazards of chorine exposure also have an effect on people who do not swim, but those who choose to sit by the pool to lie in the sun and relax. In some cases, non- swimmers have been tested positive for high levels of trichloramine. Trichloramine is released when chlorinated water have a reaction with organic elements, such as sweat or urine. These initiate a biological process that destroys the cell walls around the lungs. This means, that people should be more aware of some of the seemingly harmless dangers that are commonly exposed.

Health Effects of Chlorine

Studies have shown that exposure to chlorine for long periods of time can produce free radicals in the body. Free radicals are carcinogenic and cause tremendous damage to our cells.

The risk of developing cancer is 93% higher in people who drink or are exposed to chlorinated water. Chlorine can cause potential health damage to children and adults, and is a matter that should be carefully considered.

Children exposed to large amounts of chlorine can potentially suffer asthma attacks. A study, showed that rats exposed to chlorine and chloramines, developed tumors in their kidneys and intestines.

Chlorine cause irritation in the mucous membranes of eyes, nose and throat, which can develop to produce an intense, burning pain. This irritation is also evident in the respiratory tract and chest, triggering a severe cough. This is often associated with chest pain that could cause vomiting blood, as a result of mucosal lesions. Other common symptoms include headaches, malaise, anxiety and a feeling of suffocation.

Chlorine can severely irritate and even burn the skin that is directly exposed to this substance. It can have and irritating and burning effect in eyes and throat.

This product usually have a reaction with organic fluids producing acids, and, at high concentrations, it acts as stifling causing spasms in the larynx muscles and swelling of mucous membranes.

Also, acne is common among individuals exposed for a long time to low concentrations of chlorine, and it is commonly known as chloracne. Furthermore professional swimmers have also presented symptoms compatible with dental enamel erosion caused by inadequately maintained gas-chlorinated swimming pools. 

How to remove chlorine in water

Consider a water purification system for your home. It will eliminate toxins before using water for cooking, cleaning and bathing.

When exposed to chlorine, you should clean your body immediately. Use organic or all-natural soaps and detergents, they are highly recommended for your skin. There are many available types of soap that are nontoxic.

Always drink filtered water. And it is even better if you consume purified and oxygenated water to provide more oxygen to your body.