What’s wrong with chlorine?

The chlorination of water is one of the biggest factors in the rise of the average age from around 35 a century ago to the levels in the 80s today. Our water companies still chlorinate water, with the primary intention of killing bacteria. Given this extremely positive effect, is there any cause for concern in drinking or bathing in chlorinated water?

Recent research points the finger at chlorine’s ability to combine with organic matter (leaves etc) in water to form other compounds, most notably Trihalomethanes (THMs), which are linked to cancer and other health problems. THMs are the most frequently mentioned by governments, but as you’ll see from the previous Wikipedia link there are a number of other “disinfection by-products” (DBPs) resulting from chlorination with suspected severe health risks. Follow the links below to find studies that confirm the association between chlorinated water/THMs and cancers and other health problems:

colon and rectal cancers

bladder cancer

brain cancer

urinary tract cancer

pancreatic cancer

lymphomes, leukemia and others

– killing of acidophilus “good” bacteria in your gut. This one’s so obvious we’re not adding a link to any other sites. Chlorine’s main purpose is to kill bacteria and other micro-organisms, so it is extremely likely to kill the “good” along with the “bad”.

destruction of unsaturated Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) by chlorine

coronaries and heart disease

miscarriage and other “adverse reproductive outcomes


It may not be obvious, but it’s actually more dangerous to bathe or shower in chlorinated water than to drink it. The skin is the largest organ, and the hot water opens the pores to make it more receptive to all chemicals. Researchers have determined that you ingest more chlorine in a 10 minute shower than by drinking eight glasses of the same water.