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The Dangers of Chlorine in Drinking Water

Published by Cara Murray on

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Chlorine, which is a naturally occurring gas, is often used for disinfecting water. When chlorine is used to disinfect water, it’s typically used as sodium hypochlorite, which is commonly known as “bleach”. Sodium hypochlorite gradually causes the release of chlorine into water. This is done to protect water from bacterial contamination. However, many people aren’t aware of the risks of having chlorinated water. Here are some of the dangers of having chlorine in your water, along with how a water softener can help solve this problem.

Skin and Hair

You probably already know that bathing, showering or swimming in chlorinated water is not good for your skin and hair. This is because of the oxidizing nature of chlorine. Taking a daily shower in chlorinated water can cause your skin to become dry and flaky.

Some people suffer from itchy rashes by being exposed to chlorine. Chlorinated shower water robs the skin and hair of needed moisture and natural oils. This can affect elasticity, making your skin and hair look unattractive and feel less soft.  As a result, you can appear older than you really are.

Eyes

Getting your eyes wet in chlorinated shower water or submerging your eyes in chlorinated pool water can wash away the tear film of your cornea. As a result, your eyes are unprotected from harmful bacteria. This can lead to eye infections, such as bacterial or viral pink eye (conjunctivitis).

Consider that your cornea can suffer from dehydration when exposed to chlorine, which results in eye irritation and blurriness. This can temporarily compromise your vision. Even if these symptoms don’t last long, it can take longer for older people to recover from this condition.

Cancers

Chlorine is a type of pesticide designed to destroy living organisms. Thus, when you drink chlorinated water, the chlorine kills tissues and cells within your body. There are several cancers that been proven to have a direct link with consuming chlorinated water. These cancers include:

  • Bladder cancer—Drinking chlorinated water can increase the risk of developing bladder cancer by as much as 80 percent.
  • Breast cancer—According to a study done in Hartford, Connecticut, women with breast cancer were found to have 50 to 60 percent higher levels of chlorination by-products in their breast tissues than women who did not have breast cancer.
  • Colon cancer—The consumption of chlorinated water has been linked with colon cancer. Drinking water that doesn’t contain harmful contaminants reduces the chances for developing cancerous polyps in the colon.

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How a Water Softener Can Help

Fortunately, there’s a solution. Thanks to water softeners, chlorine can be extracted from tap water. In fact, chlorine is one the easiest substances that can be removed from water.

This process entails bringing water from water pipes into the water softening unit. Then, the unit takes this water and runs it through the unit. Besides chlorine, other hard water minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and iron, are removed from the water. The water softening unit flushes out unwanted substances through a drain, resulting in clean, fresh and softened water that’s safe to drink.

Considerations and Warnings

  • Besides drinking chlorine or absorbing it through the skin, you can also be at risk by inhaling it from the air. In fact, there are some people who even develop sinus issues simply from inhaling chlorine.
  • Children who have been exposed to a lot of chlorine are more likely to suffer from asthmatic attacks.
  • One way to protect your eyes when swimming or showering in chlorinated water is to use lubricating eye drops, which can help in hydrating your cornea, as well as protect the tear shield. 

Do you have chlorine or other hazardous substances in you water? You don’t have to settle for unhealthy water. Call Passaic Bergen Water Softening. Our local water softener service and installation company serves most of Northern New Jersey residents, in three different locations. Please contact us and find out more about our services.

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