Sunday, December 30, 2012

RISKS OF CHLORINATED WATER

GOODMORNINGMYFRIENDS

Chlorine was discovered in 1774 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, who mistakenly thought it contained oxygen. Chlorine was given its name in 1810 by Humphry Davy, who insisted that it was in fact an element.





Chlorine Water Dangers

Some of nature's most valuable and essential anti-cancer and anti-disease phytochemical nutrients, which are commonly found in food, have been discovered to form deadly cancer causing substances when consumed or combined with chlorinated tap water. This discovery includes familiar foods including soy, fruits, vegetables, tea, many health products, and some prescriptions.

Recently, a joint study was undertaken in Japan by research scientists at the National Institute of Health Sciences and Shizuoka Prefectural University. They determined that natural organic substances react when exposed to chlorinated tap water, forming dangerous cancer causing compounds named MX, which stands for "Unknown Mutagen". They are similar to the already well-known and more easily detected cancer causing THMs (trihalomethanes).

Earlier studies by scientists in Finland in 1997 determined that MX is 170 times more deadly than other known toxic by-products of chlorination, and was shown in laboratory studies to damage the thyroid gland as well as cause cancerous tumors.

There is nothing wrong with the organic substances themselves. It is chlorine that is at fault for turning them into the deadly THM and MX cancer cocktail. The reality is that the organic substances have been shown to be highly beneficial combined with pure drinking water.

It is certain that the fresh plant foods we eat similarly react with the chlorinated tap water we drink with our meals, creating toxins.  This means that fresh fruits and vegetables, green salads, green tea, black tea, herb teas, soy products, vitamins and various health supplements, and even some pharmaceutical drugs all can be implicated in combination with chlorinated water.

The dangerous cancer causing agents which are produced are extremely toxic in infinitesimal amounts so small and obscure that they are very difficult to detect. Very little chlorine is required.

Many years ago laws were passed making chlorination of water mandatory. Now, the chlorine industry and government agencies must continue their existing policies, because if sudden or drastic changes are made the legal liabilities would be staggering. This predicament could make the tobacco industry scandal seem insignificant in comparison.  Educating people to the dangers of chlorine would be admitting to knowledge of the problem, which could invalidate past studies and certainly raise serious legal problems.

Although Chlorine has essentially eliminated the risks of waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera and dysentery, there are many pathogens that are not controlled by chlorine.  Better methods of water treatment exist, such as ozonation, and many alternatives are already used throughout the world.

This message is of utmost importance to the general public, because chlorine will one day, in the near future, be exposed as a major cause and contributor to cancer and degenerative disease. Chlorine will also be found to be responsible for damaging the body's immune and hormonal systems by mutating the food-based plant estrogens and phytochemicals that support those systems.  A healthy immune system should be your first and best line of defense against disease.

Chemical Background

Highly reactive chlorine is one of the industrial waste products profitably disposed of using people as garbage cans,8 then on into the environment. Chlorine oxidizes lipid contaminants in the water. It thus creates free radicals,2 (highly reactive atomic or sub-atomic particles lacking an electron) and oxysterols (formed when lipid and oxygen molecules combine).9,10

To function we require moderate numbers of both free radicals and oxysterols. The immune system employs free radicals to kill cells that its cellular immune mechanism can't handle. A second mechanism using free radicals initiates programmed cell suicide known as apoptosis.11 And moderate quantities of oxysterols, like cholesterol itself, serve a protective function.12 But excess free radicals and excess oxysterols damage arteries and initiate cancer, among many other kinds of harm.

Chlorine in water destroys protective acidophilus, which nourishes and coöperates with the 3 to 3.5 pounds13 of immunity-strengthening "friendly" organisms lining the colon, where about 60 percent of our immune cells operate.14 And chlorine combines with organic impurities in the water to make trihalomethanes (THMs), or chloramines.

Among the THMs that result from chlorine combining with organic compounds in water are carcinogenic chloroform and carbon tetrachloride. It is the combination of chlorine and organic materials already in the water that produces cancer-causing byproducts. The more organic matter in the water, the greater is the accumulation of THMs.20

In a study of more than 5,000 pregnant women in the Fontana, Walnut Creek and Santa Clara areas of California, researchers from the state health department found that women who drank more than five glasses a day of tap water containing over 75 parts per billion (ppb) of THMs had a 9.5 percent risk of spontaneous abortion, i.e. miscarriage. Women less exposed to the contaminants showed 5.7 percent risk; no comparison was given for women who in-gested no THMs.21

Industrial chemist J.P. Bercz, showed in 1992 that chlorinated water alters and destroys unsaturated essential fatty acids (EFAs),15 the building blocks of human brains and central nervous systems.16 The compound hypochlorite, created when chlorine mixes with water, generates excess free radicals; these oxidize EFAs, turning them rancid.

Most Western diets already contain very little of critically needed omega-3 EFAs. These are found in fish oil, flaxseed oil and also in moderate quantity in extra-virgin olive oil. These EFAs, except in olive oil, go rancid quickly. And so, to extend their products' shelf life food processors remove all health-promoting EFAs, as well as destroying or discarding most needed micronutrients.

Processors substitute either saturated fats or partially hydrogenated trans fats. Found in all packaged foods that have long lists of hard-to-pronounce chemical names on the side, trans fatty acids consumed in large quantity can cause heart attacks and many other degenerative diseases.17-19

Possible Artery Damage

When chlorinated water is run through a hose or carried in a pail followed by milk as in a dairy, very tenacious, yellowish deposits chemically similar to arterial plaque form; with unchlorinated water this doesn't happen.2

CBS: Sixty Minutes show July 11, 1992, displayed two laboratory rats, both of them eating standard rat chow and drinking chlorinated water. One rat was also on pasteurized, homogenized milk. When the animals were sacrificed, the arteries of the milk-drinking rats were found to be clogged.

Dairy buckets, hoses and rats' arteries resist the arterial-wall damage known as atherosclerosis. But what can chlorinated water and cow milk, particularly homogenized milk, do to the far more susceptible arteries of humans? Those of young chickens are about as susceptible to such damage as human arteries. As a first approximation, J.M. Price, MD, gave cockerels (roosters less than a year old) only chlorinated water (without milk). They developed arterial plaques; and the stronger the concentration of chlorine, the faster and worse the damage. Cockerels on unchlorinated water developed no such damage.2

The residents of the small town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, had no heart attacks despite a diet rich in saturated animal fats and milk–until they moved away from Roseto's mountain spring water and drank chlorinated water. After that, consuming the same diet, they had heart attacks.2 The Roseto example is dramatic enough but the needed detailed comparisons and follow-up have never been done.

How closely does the incidence of heart attacks match the areas where, and times when water is chlorinated? Chlorination spread throughout America in the second and third decades of this century, about 20 years before the increase of heart attacks. Light chlorination yielded slow growth of plaques in Price's cockerels, therefore, chlorination of people's drinking water at the usual low concentration might have been expected to take at least 10-20 years to produce clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis.

A physician team led by William F. Enos autopsied 300 GIs who had died in battle in the Korean War. These men, who had passed induction examination as healthy, averaged 22.1 years of age. To their shock and amazement, in 77percent of the 300 the pathologists found "gross evidence of arteriosclerosis in the coronary arteries." In several, one or more heart arteries were partly or completely occluded.3 Although Enos didn"t try to explain his grisly discovery, he assumed arterial clogging had developed gradually. Seeming to support that assumption, almost 20 years later pathologists discovered early arterial damage in 96 percent of nearly 200 consecutive babies who had died from various causes in their first month outside the womb. Two of those babies' coronary arteries were blocked, causing infantile heart attacks.4 Identified as crib deaths, these were related to functionally deficient vitamin B6.5

But did arterial damage in fact develop slowly? The water that the American soldiers had to drink in Korea was so heavily chlorinated that many could hardly tolerate it. In Vietnam, too, autopsies of American solders found heart artery damage.6 Again, water supplied to them had been heavily chlorinated.2 Did much of the soldiers' arterial damage develop not gradually but quickly as in Dr. Price's cockerels? The truth "slow or rapid development of clogging" may never be known. Interestingly, from 1950 to 1965 while heart attacks increased, on a population level arterial lesions did not increase;7 the major growth was in clotting.

Relation to Melanoma and Cancers

Studies in Belgium have related devel-opment of deadly malignant melanoma to consumption of chlorinated water.28 Drinking and swimming in chlorinated water can cause melanoma.29,30,31 Sodium hypochlorite, used in chlorination of water for swimming pools, is mutagenic in the Ames test and other mutagenicity tests.32,33 Redheads and blonds are disproportionately melanoma-prone; their skin contains a relative excess of pheomelanins34 compared to darker people.35 Franz Rampen of the Netherlands reports worldwide pollution of rivers and oceans and chlorination of swimming pool water have led to an increase in melanoma.36,37

Long-term risks of consuming chlorinated water include excessive free radical formation, which accelerates aging, increases vulnerability to genetic mutation and cancer development, hinders cholesterol metabolism, and promotes hardening of arteries.

Excess free radicals created by chlorinated water also generate dangerous toxins in the body. These have been directly linked to liver malfunction, weakening of the immune system and pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries. Excessive free radicals have been linked also to alterations of cellular DNA.42 Chlorine also destroys antioxidant vitamin E,2 which is needed to counteract excess oxysterols/free radicals for cardiac and anti-cancer protection.

A study in the late 1970s found that chlorinated water appears to increase the risk of gastrointestinal cancer over a person's lifetime by 50 to 100 percent. This study analyzed thousands of cancer deaths in North Carolina, Illinois, Wisconsin and Louisiana. Risk of such cancers results from use of water containing chlorine at or below the Environmental Protection Agency standard and "is going to make the E.P.A. standard look ridiculous," stated Robert Harris, lead scientist in the study.43

A later meta-analysis44 found chlorinated water is associated each year in America with about 4,200 cases of bladder cancer and 6,500 cases of rectal cancer. Chlorine is estimated to account for nine percent of bladder cancer cases and 18 percent of rectal cancers.45 Those cancers develop because the bladder and rectum store waste products for periods of time. (Keeping the bowels moving regularly lowers such risk.) Chlorinated water is associated, too, with higher total risk of combined cancers.46

Further Risks of Chlorinated Water

Chlorine in swimming pools reacts with organic matter such as sweat, urine, blood, feces, and mucus and skin cells to form more chloramines. Chloroform risk can be 70 to 240 times higher in the air over indoor pools than over outdoor pools.22 Canadian researchers found that after an hour of swimming in a chlorinated pool, chloroform concentrations in the swimers' blood ranged from 100 to 1,093 ppb.23 If the pool smells very much of chlorine, don't go near it.

Taking a warm shower or lounging in a tub filled with hot chlorinated water, one inhales chloroform. Researchers recorded increases in chloroform concentration in bathers' lungs of about 2.7 ppb after a 10-minute shower. Worse, warm water causes the skin to act like a sponge; and so one will absorb and inhale more chlorine in a ten-minute shower than by drinking eight glasses of the same water. This irritates the eyes, the sinuses, throat, skin and lungs, dries the hair and scalp, worsening dandruff. It can also weaken immunity.

A window from the shower room open to the outdoors would release chloroform from the shower room air, but to prevent its absorption through the skin requires a shower head that removes chlorine.

Dishwashers pollute indoor air with chlorinated organics created from dishwasher detergents and volatilized in the air for us to breathe. They vent five to seven liters of air into the house air every minute of operation. The chlorine reacts with food scraps.24 Ceramic disks, used instead of detergents, totally avoid the problem and are said to be about 75% less costly than detergent.25,26,27

Chlorine in treated water can also cause allergic symptoms ranging from skin rash to intestinal symptoms to arthritis, and headaches.47

Recent research has found a new hazard in chlorinated water: a byproduct called MX. A research team from the National Public Health Institute in Finland discov-ered that, by causing genetic mutations, MX initiates cancer in laboratory ani-mals.48,49 Also, DCA (dichloroacedic acid) in chlorinated water alters cholesterol me-tabolism, changing HDL to LDL choles-terol50–and causes liver cancer in labora-tory animals.51

Plants do not thrive as well on chlo-rinated as on unchlorinated water; wild animals do not develop atherosclerosis until they drink chlorinated water in American zoos. Although their food, se-lected by people, isn't the same as what they caught, plucked or dug up in the wilds, evidence indicates chlorinated water, with its thousands of other chemicals, is the worst culprit in zoo animals' arterial clog-ging.

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