Extracts from “Is Your Water Safe” by Dr. Mercola.
Unfortunately, in most cases science isn’t even close to understanding the potential short-term and long-term impact of these chlorine-based chemicals on your body and the environment. There are hundreds of them. And science isn’t even close to understanding what levels of these chemicals can cause damage.
But we’re not completely in the dark about the harm they can inflict. Some of the serious health problems caused by DBPs include:
Free radicals are linked to the presence of arterial plaque. The residents of a small town in Pennsylvania who ate diets rich in saturated animal fats and milk had no heart attacks – until they switched from mountain spring water to chlorinated water.
Immune System Injury
Chlorine destroys acidophilus, a probiotic which helps build and maintain friendly bacteria in your colon. A healthy colon is necessary for a healthy immune system since about 80 percent of your immune cells operate from your digestive tract. When your colon is overrun with unfriendly bacteria, your immune system is compromised, and
your ability to fight disease is greatly reduced as well.
Scientists have linked worldwide pollution of rivers and oceans and chlorination of swimming pools to increased incidents of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Research from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands discovered that people who swam in chlorinated pools or polluted waters as children had 2.2 to 2.4 times the risk of developing melanoma compared to those who did not swim in chlorinated waters.
In the 1970’s, researchers found that chlorinated water at levels at or below the EPA standard increased the risk of gastrointestinal cancer by 50 to 100 percent over a lifetime.
Additionally, as your bladder and rectum store waste products for periods of time – chlorinated water is associated with increased risk of bladder and rectal cancers. A study published in 1998 by the National Cancer Institute found that male smokers who drank chlorinated tap water for more than 40 years had double the risk of bladder cancer as smoking males who drank non-chlorinated water. Another study found that rates for rectal cancers for both sexes
escalated with duration of consumption of chlorinated water. Individuals on low-fibre diets who also drank chlorinated water for over 40 years more than doubled their risk for rectal cancer, compared with lifetime drinkers of non-chlorinated water.
Reproductive Issues and Birth Defects
Studies have also shown that chlorine found in human tissue and breast milk has caused a 50 percent drop in sperm counts in Denmark. And, research conducted in Europe indicated that women in their first trimester of pregnancy who drink five or more glasses of chlorinated tap water a day could be at a much higher risk of miscarriage.
A Norwegian study of 141,000 births over a three year period found the risk of spina bifida increased 14 percent in areas with chlorinated water.
Chlorine can cause allergic symptoms like skin rashes, headaches, gastrointestinal difficulties, and even arthritis.
In addition to the toxic byproducts and the health hazards mentioned above, chlorine also creates free radicals and oxysterols in water.
Excess free radicals in turn, can create toxins in your body that are linked to liver problems, compromised immune systems, pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries, and alterations in DNA. Chlorine also destroys the antioxidant vitamin E.