A while back, I started a series of posts regarding "everyday toxins". It has been a while since I have posted in this subject area, but I felt compelled to do so today. I have wanted to address one particular everyday toxin for some time now. This is one commonly found in houses across the nation and around the world. CHLORINE.
Here is a description I found online for chlorine:
Chlorine is a highly poisonous, greenish yellow gas, about two and a half times as dense as air, and with a strong, sharp, choking odor. It was, in fact, one of the first poisonous gases used in warfare—in 1915 during World War I. In spite of its disagreeable nature, there are so many everyday products that contain chlorine or are manufactured through the use of chlorine that it is among the top ten chemicals produced in the United States each year. In 1994, more than 24 billion lb (11 billion kg) of chlorine were produced.
Did you note the part about it being a poisonous gas used in warfare? How about the "choking odor" part? Actually, that description is absolutely accurate, as it was used for that very reason.
So why is it that we find this chemical so widely used today? We know that chlorine is highly effective in killing bacteria. It is used in common household cleaners, in pools, and in our water supply. But through the years, sanitation has improved and alternatives to chlorine exist, though they are not widely used.
I am not writing this post to address alternatives to chlorine, but to share with you, if were not already aware, that chlorine is in fact, a poison; to let you know that your exposure to this toxic chemical is likely far higher than you think; and to show you a simple way to reduce it.
So, you may be thinking that you don't go swimming very often, and that you don't need to worry about chlorine exposure, while in fact, you are at risk every day. You see, since chlorine is added to the water supply to kill bacteria, you are literally bathing (and possibly drinking) it each and every day.
You might also be thinking that this is no big deal, and that you don't seem to notice any effects of this. But when it comes to toxic chemicals, there is often a cumulative effect that happens over time. You wouldn't reach for a household cleanser and sprinkle it into the water, just before you climb into a nice hot bath, would you? In reality, you're kind of doing this just by turning on the faucet.
Here's the problem: When you take a toxic chemical and heat it up in your bath or shower, not only are you absorbing it through the pores in your skin, you are also breathing in the steam, taking it right to your lungs and into your bloodstream.
So what can you do? A simple solution is to add a filter to your shower. Shower filters are inexpensive and require little maintenance, just a filter change about six months to a year. Easy enough, right? You can type in "shower filter" on Amazon or other sites, or search Gaiam Living for different types of these filters. They are very effective at removing chlorine, and other water contaminants.
Now for the bath. This is very important parents!! Protect your little one from the harmful effects of chlorine and other contaminants. Their little bodies are still developing, and the effects of everyday toxins are much more damaging to these precious ones. A simple solution for the tub is what is called a "bath ball". You can purchase one of these balls on Amazon or check your local health food store. By swirling it in the bath water for about one to two minutes, you neutralize the chlorine and it changes the chemical compound into one that is harmless. I keep one of these balls handy for travel.
Okay, if you are highly sensitive to chemicals like I am, you also have the option of purchasing what is called a whole-house filter. You can contact a company in your area that provides water softening tanks. They usually offer whole-house filtering tanks as well as options for your drinking water. This is a more costly option, but highly effective in removing multiple contaminants (including chlorine, pesticides, petroleum byproducts, and heavy metals) from the water supply in your home.
Take the time to research. Know what's in your local water supply. We don't have much control over our exposure to environmental toxins. This is one time that you do. Stay tuned for more chlorine-free tips on To Your Health!
Here's to truly natural water and here's to your health!
*For Hawaii residents here on Oahu, you can contact AAA Best Water for all your filtration and softening needs. If you are in Orange County, California, try Water By Design.