According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chlorine is an all too present chemical. Usually used as a household cleaner and disinfectant, chlorine is also added to water sources to kill off any bacteria or viruses that may harm humans.
However, the irony of the matter is that chlorine itself has harmful effects on human life. According to research by the EPA, chlorine exposure can cause serious soft tissue issues (itchy eyes and irritated mucosal passages) and other harmful health issues like serious respiratory problems. Long term exposure to chlorine in gas form can also be severely toxic, and the long term dangers of chlorine range from cancer to genetic defects.
So what is chlorine and how is it affecting your water? It’s essential to know what chlorine is and how it acts when added to water; the risks of consuming chlorinated water and coming into contact with chlorinated water are many, and numerous health agencies are becoming increasingly concerned. Luckily, there is a solution for households they can take charge of their health via chlorine filters, which can be easily installed in homes.
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Chlorine or chlorine compounds are added to water to kill microbes, bacteria and pathogens in other to make water usable. As a toxic compound, chlorine has the strength to purify water from these harmful bacteria, but does it make water safe for us to consume?
Chlorine was first used in water in 1908. Chlorinated water became a popular commodity because it eliminated waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid, which had claimed many lives. Considered as one of the most impactful changes in public health, chlorine also helps to neutralize the taste of water and other odors that may be present in the source of water, too.
Chlorine is added to water in various ways. Chlorine is added to water through chlorine gas, a solution of liquid sodium hypochlorite or dry calcium hypochlorite. These disinfectants penetrate the slime coatings, cell walls and shells of the pathogens and inhibit their ability to reproduce and kill them off, too.
Water that contains chlorine is almost everywhere. From drinking water to water reservoirs, chlorine is also found in water bodies like swimming pools. It’s also found in sources of water like dam water, wells, and so on.
Unfortunately, there are various negative chlorine health effects. According to old research, the toxicity of chlorine was used as a weapon during wars! In fact, people can also contract cancer from chlorine in the long run besides suffering from skin irritation, respiratory issues and even itchy eyes.
The surest way of removing chlorine from water is by filtration. The first filtration process consists of running the water through a granulated activated carbon chlorine filter, which contains activated charcoal, which traps the chlorine molecules. The carbon in the charcoal absorbs the chlorine molecules, making it easy to remove traces of chlorine.
Kinetic degradation fluxion, another form of filtration, is also used to filter out chlorine from water. The process uses a copper-zinc alloy to convert free chlorine into chloride through the process of oxidization. The process is followed by other steps to remove chlorine entirely.
Another form of filter, an extensive carbon filter, is used to remove chlorine from chloramine, and the process is followed with a reverse osmosis to remove ammonia and clear the water of these toxins.
Although chlorine seemingly cleans water, it’s not the safest compound. In fact, research has been conducted that concludes that chlorine should be cleared from water before consumption.
Chlorinated water is actually really dangerous for external skin. In fact, many cases of skin issues like eczema, psoriasis and stinging have arisen because of contact with chlorine. It even exacerbates pre existing skin conditions and individuals need strong medication like steroids to control their symptoms.
How does chlorine affect the skin? Well, chlorinated water contains compounds that can destroy polyunsaturated fatty acids and deplete vitamin E supply in the body. It also increases exposure to free radicals, which affect the skin’s epidermis. In other words, chlorine breaks down the skin’s natural protective barrier, making it prone to damage.
Chlorinated water comes into contact with organic compounds and creates other compounds called trihalomethanes (THMs), which are carcinogens. This means it’s a cancer causing substance! Trihalomethanes don’t break down in water or degrade, meaning they enter your body and are stored in fatty tissues.
What does this mean? That it’s dangerous, of course! Fatty tissues are present all over our body, and especially in the case of women, trihalomethanes can be stored in the fatty tissue of the breast, contaminating breast milk in expectant mothers. They’re also stored in semen and even in the blood, altering the human DNA and suppressing the immune system. Besides that, chlorinated water can also interfere with cell growth, which leads to other health dangers.
Research done on children spending time in chlorinated swimming pools showed that their risk of asthma is extremely high. This can be applied to individuals who consume chlorinated water too. The high levels of toxicity absorbed through the skin and consumed orally can lead to various cardiac and respiratory issues.
The most common issues related to chlorine and respiratory health are coughing, chest tightness, burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat and even shortness of breath. Some individuals may even suffer from wheezing and other symptoms alike. In other words, chlorine can be absorbed into your body and have an impact on vital functions and organs like the lungs in this example.
When chlorinated water comes into contact with teeth, it can erode the enamel over time because of its levels of acidity. The enamel becomes soft over time and makes you more susceptible to issues like damage and decay. Gum health also deteriorates over time.
Unfortunately, teeth sensitivity is irreparable and individuals who are afflicted with the aforementioned issues because of chlorine consumption and exposure have to take certain precautions to not exacerbate the problem.
Many compounds connected to chlorine are considered carcinogens. Documented instances of cancer prove that exposure to chlorine is in fact harmful. Around 17% of bladder cancer cases were caused by exposure to THMs in tap water, and women who have breast cancer also had 50 60% more THMs and other chlorinated byproducts in their breast tissue.
Other cancers like colorectal cancer, bowel cancer and bladder cancer are also directly linked to chlorine and its byproducts. According to studies, using chlorinated water for bathing, swimming and consumption can cause mutated DNA and cancer in the long run.
When chlorine dioxide breaks down, another compound called chlorite is formed. Studies done on the consumption of water containing chlorite found that the compound is linked to nervous system issues, especially in young infants and toddlers.
Other research claims that exposure or consumption of such water can also affect the fetus of an expectant mother, which could hamper fetal health and the general health of the child.
Further investigations into the hazards of chlorinated water revealed that expectant women who consumed five or more glasses of water containing chlorine or any kind of TMHs had a miscarriage rate of 15.7% instead of the regular 9.5%.
Besides causing miscarriages, the chlorinated water’s compounds are already present in the expectant mothers’ fatty tissues, which means the fetuses may grow into children who have severe breathing issues and skin sensitivity.
According to researchers and scientists, chlorinated water can pose a threat to cardiovascular health. Research was conducted using two groups of chickens; the group that was fed chlorinated water had lower energy levels, poor blood circulation, irregular body temperature and reduced activity levels, whereas the other group grew into healthy chickens with great health.
In other words, chlorine also impacts cardiac health, which is an absolute danger. And let’s not forget that chlorine can remain within the bloodstream, cycling our system and affecting organs and functionality.
Now that you’re aware of the dangers chlorinated water poses to your health, it’s time to be proactive and invest in a water filter that will remove contaminants and compounds alike.
Water filters for chlorine don’t only remove chlorine. They remove its derivatives and other compounds that are similar to it and bind with it too. An added advantage of using water filters is that besides eradicating sources of chlorine, they also cleanse water from other impurities like bacteria, pathogens, viruses, metals and other harmful compounds.
In other words, water filters are lifesavers!
One of the best countertop filter for chlorine removal, the Berkey filters come in sizes ranging from 1.5 gallons to 6 gallons. Rated 4.3/5 stars on Amazon, this filter is portable and removes all harmful pathogens, bacteria, cysts and even parasites to purify the water. The system is also equipped to extract pesticides, herbicides and other harmful chemicals to make the water clean and safe for use.
If you’re on the lookout for the best pitcher filter for chlorine, this Aquasana machine is an investment that will last you a long time. With ten times stronger and 8 times longer-lasting filtration, the one-gallon pitcher is one of the best in the market. The machine uses ultra-dense carbon to clean heavy metals, cysts, chlorine, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. It is NSF Certified because of its sub-micron mechanical filtration, which can cleanse ten times more contaminants from drinking water.
If you’re looking for a water filter that stays out of sight and is the best under sink filter for chlorine, this Aquasana pick is bound to make you happy! The 3-way filter fits snugly under your sink and conforms to all NSF protocols for its ability to remove 77 contaminants that’s 15 times stronger filtration! The water filter also removes organic chemicals, lead, mercury, pharmaceuticals and also chlorine resistant cysts to provide you with clean and safe water at all times. In other words, it’s the best system out there!
Bringing the power of the best reverse osmosis for chlorine right to your homes, the Aquasana system is the most advanced filtration systems in the market. It filters up to 87 contaminants, including fluoride, radium, nitrates, arsenic and even lead, and removes 5 times more contaminants than any other filtration system. Tested and certified by the NSF, this reverse osmosis system combines an eco friendly design and efficient filters to provide you with up to 13 gallons of clean water every day!
Thanks to Aquasana, the best whole house filter for chlorine provides safe and pure water for every and any form of use! Devised to run for up to 10 years and filter over one million gallons of water, this system removes all forms of viruses, bacteria, chlorine and other chemicals with its twice as strong ten inch filter. The system comes with a sediment pre filter, which catches impurities like rust, silt and sediment and also has a salt-free water conditioner that prevents any build up. The activated carbon filter is also equipped to cleanse the tiniest of particles, and the post filter runs the water through one last stage of purification before distributing it through your home.
If you’re looking for the best refrigerator filter for chlorine, this Culligan system is a one of a kind advanced filtration system that easily installs inside your refrigerator to provide you with fresh and clean water. This system can pump between 500 gallons and 3,000 gallons, depending on its size, and removes all traces of chlorine, chloramines, sediment, lead, cysts, metals and chemicals from your drinking water. The best part is that it even makes clean, odorless and great tasting ice. The system is a no-mess one, so there is no need to change cartridges and other cumbersome installations.
Simply put, pure and fresh water is everyone’s right. With so many chemicals being introduced to water reservoirs and other sources, it’s becoming difficult to find clean water for consumption. However, thanks to water filtration systems like the aforementioned ones, clean water is possible!
In fact, water filtration systems are an investment towards a healthy life and a healthier you. Though chlorine and other chemicals kill bacteria and virus strains, they’re still not great to consume; hence, water filtration systems are required to clean up the chemicals after they have done their job. Besides, with the dangers of chlorine and its derivatives listed above, one should always try to prevent contact with it.
Say hello to clean water and great health once again!
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