Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chlorine chlorine EVERYWHERE!!

Most people are aware of the use of chlorine in our drinking water and pools. It kills off bacteria that could potentially make us sick. But are the trade offs really any better? Drinking chlorinated water does the same thing to the good bacteria in our gut that is essential to our immune system. While chlorine is deemed "safe" in small amounts I have to wonder how safe it is in small amounts over a long period of time.

Chlorine is used in everything to our water and pools to everyday disposable products that we use. Toilet paper, paper towels,disposable diapers and wipes, disposable menstrual pads and tampons (yikes!), coffee filters, and even white bread. Just about anything white was probably bleached with chlorine. Chlorine bleaching leaves behind a small amount of dioxins known to be carcinogenic. In other words, it has the potential to cause cancer! I don't need Gardasil to prevent cervical cancer. I just need to keep chlorine off my hoo-haa. :-/

I recently read that a 10 minute shower soaks up as much chlorine through our skin as drinking chlorinated water all day. Not only does it soak into our skin but we also breath it in while showering. The heat of the shower turns the chlorine into it's gaseous form. Want to know what that gas is called? Chloroform!! I love to take a shower in the a.m. (lasting about 30 minutes) and a nice long soak in the tub in the p.m. I have to wonder what I'm doing to my body. Even worse, what's happening to my children with every bath?

What to do, What to do? I can tell you what I'm doing. First, my baby is already in cloth diapers and we use cloth wipes. For the occasional need of a disposable wipe I use chlorine free ones that Seventh Generation makes. This company also makes chlorine free toilet paper and paper towels. I've switched to unbleached coffee filters. No more white bread except on rare occasions. Just unbleached whole wheat breads. No more disposable menstrual products (more on that in another post). Lastly, and most importantly, carbon shower filters so I can take a shower in peace.

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