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Reducing Your Exposure To Chlorine

By Dr. Janet Starr Hull

Today, deposition of chlorine within the human body is an increasing reality, and the chlorine compound we must add to this list: Chlorinated sucrose—the “newly-marketed” chlorocarbohydrate (chlorocarbon) found in food products with Splenda®, the new chemical sweetener with unknown side effects from long-term internal use.

Thanks to chlorine pollution, Americans are exposed to a daily amount of chlorine toxins 300 to 600 times greater than the EPA's "safe" dose.1 Monitoring chlorine-containing products from animal feed to artificial sweeteners is a critical step in reducing human exposure to chlorine because, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ninety-five percent of exposure to chlorine compounds occurs through the diet.

Cancer-causing residue from chlorine bleaching can be found in products like coffee filters, the manufacturing of chlorine-bleached paper, disposable diapers, paper towels and bathroom tissue. Dioxins (chlorine-containing compounds) are recognized as one of the most carcinogenic chemicals known to science and have been linked to:

Industry Is Beginning To Change Its View Of Chlorine:

Ben & Jerry’s® ice cream has the following printed on their cartons:

“This is an unbleached ‘eco-pint.’  Bleaching paper with chlorine releases different dioxins, one of which the EPA identifies as the most toxic ever created.  This eco-pint is part of our efforts to use environmentally safe packaging.  Enjoy!”

Way to go, B&J!

Here’s More Chlorine-Based Poisons You May Have Been Exposed To: Along with common manufactured chlorine comes a long and dangerous list of pollutants humans, and other animals, have been exposed to over time:2

Most of the chemicals produced in the laboratory using chlorine and carbon are still unknown to nature. They resist breakdown yet deposit (bioaccumulate) in both the environment and in animal body fat. Often chlorine and its breakdown byproducts are very slow to decompose, and, in some cases, it may take years or decades to completely break down. Some chlorine compounds actually become more toxic once unleashed in the environment.3

Reducing Your Exposure To Chlorine

A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best ways to reduce exposure to chlorine, namely by reducing the amount of processed foods in your diet, along with seeking out clean and natural food sources. By avoiding or at least decreasing your consumption of processed foods, you significantly reduce your chances of eating any manmade chlorine found in chlorinated water and pesticides sprayed on the crops. Combine this with clean, organic if possible, vegetables and naturally raised meat and eggs (unpasteurized is preferable), you will be on the right health track.

The Chlorine Chemistry Council supports efforts to better understand the role that chlorine plays in human health and the environment. Supporting their commitment to science education and to local communities, the CCC stated, “We are working to further reduce emissions into the food supply, while at the same time provide the building blocks of chlorine chemistry that help produce essential products that make our lives safer, healthier and more convenient." 

Dr. John Marshall of the Pure Water Association, an American consumer group campaigning for safer drinking water, states, "It shows we should be paying more attention to the chemicals we put in our drinking water and should be looking for other alternatives to chlorination. A number of safe, non-toxic options exist, such as treating water with ozone gas or ultra violet light."

The Norwegian government has also ordered more research to be done. Concerned families have begun filtering their tap water with a popular method of placing sachets of coral sand dredged from Norwegian fjords into the water before it is consumed, removing all traces of chlorine after fifteen minutes.

Here are some safety tips you can follow to reduce your daily chlorine exposure:

And now,

1. J. Chlorine is a chemical whose time has passed: persistent organic pollutants (POPs) threaten the health and well-being of humans and wildlife. Chlorine Quandary. 2001

2. Chlorine Chemistry Council. Arlington, VA.

3. Chlorine facts:

Additional References

Ames BN, Gold LS. Another perspective ...Nature's way. Consumer's Research Magazine. Vol. 76. No. 8. p. 20. August 1993.

Institute of Occupational Health. Solna, Sweden. PMID: 8833460, UI: 96430334. Mar, 34 (3): 176-8O.

Environmentally safe mixtures. Biodegradable ingredient cleaners.

Posted on April 29, 2005 in Chlorine | Link To This Entry | Comments (0)


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