What Do The
What to Do?
According to a study conducted by the Natural Resources
Defense Council, about 120 million people (50% of the population) may get
U.S. Health Officials have estimated that 900,000
people each year become ill, with approximately 900 who possibly die, from
According to the General Accounting Office estimates,
66% of Safe Drinking Water Act violations are not reported.
All of these contaminants are directly related to the
degree of toxins in our environment. Acid rain, polluted land the water runs
over, chemical spills, smog, chemicals added to "purify" the water, and rust
in the pipes are just a few of the toxins that can find their way into your
drinking water. Government agencies have made heroic efforts to keep
our water clean, but it has become virtually impossible.
Chlorine is the most widely used chemical used to
decontaminate the bacteria in public water. Is is safe to drink on a daily
basis? You decide.
A corrosive, poisonous, greenish-yellow gas.
It has an obnoxious odor.
Is 2 1/2 times heavier than air.
Some studies indicate that the use of chlorine, to
reduce the risk of infectious disease, may account for a substantial
portion of the cancer risk associated with drinking water.
In the past, purification of our drinking water was
mainly focused on eliminating pathogens, the use of chlorine was believed to
be safe. Further, the chlorination of our drinking water was proven to be a
major factor in the reduction in the mortality rates associated with
In fact, an article in the New York Times praised the use
of chlorine by stating, "Any municipal water supply can be made as pure as
mountain spring water. Chlorination destroys all animal and microbial life,
leaving no trace of itself afterwards."
However, recent surveys indicate that halogenated organic
compounds, such as chloroform, were identified in chlorinated drinking water
supplies, and that these compounds are common in water supplies throughout
the United States.
This discovery inspired extensive epidemiological
research into the safety of ingesting chlorine, and its possible
relationship to cancer risks associated with chemical contamination from
chlorination by-products. These research studies generally support the
theory that by-products of chlorination are associated with increased cancer
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It has been found that while chlorine is successful in
eliminating microbial contamination, it can also react with organic
matter in the water and form dangerous, carcinogenic trihalomethanes.
In his book Coronaries - Cholesterol - Chlorine, Dr. Joseph M.
Price, MD, stated, "Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern
times. It is an insidious poison."
Dr. Price continues, "Trihalomethanes, are the prime causative agents of
arteriosclerosis and its inevitable result, the heart attack or stroke."
Trihalomethanes are chemical by-products formed secondary to the
interaction of chlorine with organic materials, and are commonly found in
our water supplies.
According to the 1992 article in the American Journal
of Public Health, researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in
Milwaukee found that people who regularly drink tap water containing high
levels of chlorine by-products have a greater risk of developing bladder
and rectal cancers than people who drink unchlorinated water.
Further, the study estimated that approximately 9 percent of all bladder
cancer cases, and 18 percent of all rectal cancer cases are associated
with long-term consumption of these by-products.
This is approximately 20,000 new cases each year.
A research study at Harvard used a new technique called
meta-analysis to combine the results from ten of the most reputable
Their study concluded 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.
Robert D. Morris of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who
directed the new study stated, "I am quite convinced, based on this study,
that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water."
The Environmental Defense Fund states, "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."
About 90% of the population is drinking water which may
contain hundreds of these Disinfection By-products (DBPs), also known as
The Environmental Protection Agency lowered the Maximum Contaminant Level
for Disinfection By-products but it will most likely be years before the
new standard goes into effect.
In an article in the St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press,
December 17, 1987, "According to a study published in the Journal of the
National Cancer Institute, 'Long term drinking of chlorinated water
appears to increase a person's risk of developing bladder cancer as much
as 80%,' Some 45,000 Americans are diagnosed every year with bladder
It goes on to state, "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."
According to an article in the Health Freedom News,
January/February 1987 , "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."
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Under normal conditions, our bodies lose, and must replace, about 2.3 liters
of water per day.
While we get water from some of the foods we eat, approximately two-thirds
of this consumption is in the form of water or some other beverage.
For many people, the concerns about the health risks or
foul taste of drinking tap water cause them to switch to beverages other
The beverages most people switch to are sweetened with high levels of sugar,
sugar substitutes, caffeine, and alcohol, which may pose health risks
greater than those associated with drinking tap water. See
Healing Waters and
Waters and Our
But what are we to do?
The water companies are faced with an impossible job.
I think you will agree that when we accept these facts as true, the chlorine
But do we have to drink it?
If we stop the chlorination, we increase illness and
death due to bacteria and other infectious agents. That leaves us with three
Stop the chlorination, and take the chance of dying
from infectious agents.
Keep the chlorination, and risk dying from cancer.
The only solution that makes sense is for us, the
consumers, to take responsibility for our health.
Keep informed on this issue, then choose the most effective water
treatment system that is available.
I use the MultiPure system.
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It is in no way meant to imply that these are the only
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For educational purposes only. For all health
concerns, please see your health care provider.
© Copyright 1997