MEDICAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN:
Dr. Robert Morris and colleagues at the Medical College of Wisconsin concluded after examination of 10 previous studies on the cancer-causing abilities of chlorinated water: "There is a clear pattern between consumption of chlorinated water and rectal and bladder cancer."
--Dr. Robert Morris
(Dr. Robert Morris has been the featured health/water expert on "Dateline NBC" and was a key presenter at the WQA National Show in March 1995.)
THE WASHINGTON POST:
"The EPA has raised skin absorption of chlorine to its top 10 carcinogen watch list."
[Skin absorption of chlorine occurs in your shower, bathtub, swimming pool and spa. -- Unless you have a Point of Entry (POE) system to remove all toxins before they enter your property.]
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH:
Halina Szejnwlad Brown, Donna Bishop and Carol Rowan contrast their estimates of skin absorption versus drinking for three toxic chemicals: Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Styrene. Depending both on the compound involved and the body region exposed, skin can act as a fairly strong barrier to chemical entry or as no barrier at all. Their analyses were based on data published for the hand, one of the least porous areas of the body. Their finding was that for a swimmer, between 83 percent and 91 percent of the chemicals entering the body came through the skin.
Toxic effect of chlorine skin absorption
Hazards in the bath & shower
Chlorine chemically bonds with proteins in the hair, skin and scalp. Hair can become rough and brittle and lose color. Skin can dry out with itchy, flaky scalp occurring. Chlorine can aggravate sensitive areas in the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Chlorine combines with organic substances forming Trihalomethanes including Chloroform. The most common volatile compounds found by the EPA in drinking water supplies are: trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, benzene,1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, ethylene chloride,1,1-dichloroethylene, bis-1,2-dichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, chlorobenzene, dichlorobenzene, and trichlorobenzene.
INHALATIONChlorine, trichloroethylene (TCE), chloroform, benzene and other vapors are readily absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream. Chloroform (a Trihalomethane or THM) and TCE are two highly volatile toxic chemicals that have been identified in many municipal drinking-water supplies. The National Academy of Sciences has estimated that hundreds of people may die in the U.S. each year from cancers caused by ingesting these contaminants in water. However, the major threat caused by these water toxins is far more likely to be as air pollutants in the home according to a study by Dr. Julian Andelman. He found that in the shower when temperature and chemical concentrations increase and diameter of shower head holes decrease, volatilization increases. His data indicate that hot showers can liberate about 50% of the dissolved chloroform and 80% of the dissolved TCE into the air. Both the heat and the large surface-to-volume ratio of small droplets increase vaporization.
American Journal of Public Health May 84
Science News Sep 86
Pool & Spa News Oct. 86
LONG-TERM HEALTH HAZARDS IN THE HOMEMost poisonings happen slowly, over a long period of time, by daily exposures to toxins in the air, and toxic chemicals that come into contact with the skin. In one study conducted over a fifteen-year period, women who worked at home had a 54% higher death rate from cancer than women who had jobs away from the home! The study concluded that the increased death rate in the women was due to daily exposure to the hazardous chemicals [like chlorine] in the home.
DANGERS OF USING HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS WITH CHLORINE
"A peculiar accident reported by the National Safety Council involved two housewives in separate cases. Both were using an ordinary toilet bowl cleaner. Not satisfied with the way it was removing stain, each one added some household bleach and stirred with a brush. One died quickly, the other spent a long time in the hospital."
Chlorine is a toxic, yellow-green gas that is one of today's most heavily used chemical agents. Serious risks to our health and the health of the environment are being caused by the widespread use of chlorine. The use of chlorine in household cleaners has recently raised much controversy.
Many household cleaners contain chlorine but the labels indicate the alias names of "sodium hypochlorite" or "hypochlorite" [swimming pool chlorine]. Whether chlorine is found alone or in a mixture with other chemicals, household products that contain chlorine pose a number of serious health risks. Automatic dishwashing detergents, chlorine bleach, chlorinated disinfectant cleaners, mildew removers and toilet bowl cleaners are some of the products of special concern.
The fumes of cleaners containing a high concentration of chlorine when breathed in can irritate the lungs and be particularly dangerous for people who suffer from heart conditions or chronic respiratory problems such as asthma or emphysema. When the fumes are emitted in small, poorly ventilated rooms such as the bathroom, the risks are increased. Chlorine is also a highly corrosive material which is capable of damaging skin, eyes and other membranes.
When using detergents that contain chlorine in the dishwasher or clothes washer the air in your home becomes polluted through a process called "volatilization" which takes place when the chlorine in the water transfers the chlorine to the air. We then breathe the contaminated air. Dishwashers are the worst offenders as they release chemicals in a steamy mist when the door is opened after washing. In a clothes washer, chorine mixes with the dirt in clothes to create airborne, toxic chlorinated organic chemicals.
Overall, chlorine is a dangerous chemical to keep in your home. In 1993, 40,000 exposures to chlorine were reported to poison control centers which is more than any other chemical. Fragranced chlorine bleaches are especially dangerous because the odor is disguised and actually makes the experience of inhaling chlorines bleach pleasant.
Mixing household products containing chlorine with other cleaning agents is another danger due to the fact that these mixtures can create chlorine gas and chloramines, toxic gases that can injure the deep tissues of the lungs.
Whenever chlorine is used, organochlorides are formed which are forerunners to dioxins, a deadly class of compounds that cause toxic health effects. A new EPA draft report on the dangers of dioxins warns for the first time that even trace amounts can cause serious health problems including cancer, birth defects, genetic mutations, threats to the immune and reproductive systems, and damage to the liver, kidneys and skin.
Read labels on cleaning supplies and look for those which do not contain chlorine. Find safer, more natural and environmentally responsible products to clean your home. Never mix bleach with acids such as vinegar, ammonia, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners or chlorinated scouring powder, as it produces deadly chloramine gas which can result in the burning of mucous membranes and chemical pneumonia.
"Make a DIFFERENCE," http://jody.kidsneedus.com, April, 2004
According to http://www.pure-earth.com/chlorine.html
Morris, with epidemiologist Thomas C. Chalmers and his colleagues at Harvard, used a new technique called meta-analysis to combine the results from the 10 best studies, yielding the new findings. They report that people drinking chlorinated water over long periods have a 21% increase in the risk of contracting bladder cancer and a 38% increase in the risk of rectal cancer. "I am quite convinced, based on this study, that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water.", says Robert D. Morris of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who directed the new study.
About 90% of the population is drinking water which may contain hundreds of these Disinfection By-products (DBPs), also known as Trihalomethanes. The Environmental Protection Agency lowered the Maximum Contaminant Level for Disinfection By-products but it will be years before the new standard goes into effect.
In his book, Coronaries/Cholesterol/Chlorine, Joseph M. Price, MD presents startling evidence that Trihalomethanes, are the "prime causative agents of arteriosclerosis and its inevitable result, the heart attack or stroke." These Trihalomethanes are created when the chlorine that is added to the municipal water supply reacts with organic matter such as leaves, twigs, or chemicals from agricultural runoff.
Here's What The Experts Have To Say:
"The drinking of chlorinated water has finally been officially linked to an increased incidence of colon cancer. An epidemiologist at Oak Ridge Associated Universities completed a study of colon cancer victims and non-cancer patients and concluded that the drinking of chlorinated water for 15 years or more was conducive to a high rate of colon cancer." Health Freedom News, January/February 1987
"Long-term drinking of chlorinated water appears to increase a person's risk of developing bladder cancer as much as 80%," according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Some 45,000 Americans are diagnosed every year with bladder cancer. St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press, December 17, 1987
"Although concentrations of these carcinogens are low...it is precisely these low levels which cancer scientists believe are responsible for the majority of human cancers in the United States." Report Issued By The Environmental Defense Fund "Chlorine itself is not believed to be the problem. Scientists suspect that the actual cause of the bladder cancers is a group of chemicals that form as result of reactions between the chlorine and natural substances and pollutants in the water." (organic matter such as leaves and twigs.) St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press, December 17, 1987
Greenpeace reports have found chlorine-based compounds to be the most common toxic and persistent pollutants in the Great Lakes.
Chlorine dissolves when mixed with water. It can also escape from water and enter air under certain conditions. Most direct releases of chlorine to the environment are to air and to surface water. Once in air or in water, chlorine reacts with other chemicals. It combines with inorganic material in water to form chloride salts, and with organic material in water to form chlorinated organic chemicals. Because of its reactivity chlorine is not likely to move through the ground and enter groundwater.
Plants and animals are not likely to store chlorine. However, laboratory studies show that repeat exposure to chlorine in air can affect the immune system, the blood, the heart, and the respiratory system of animals. Chlorine causes environmental harm at low levels. Chlorine is especially harmful to organisms living in water and in soil.
Here is a link to add from OSHA on chlorine http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/chlorinedioxide/recognition.html