Have you thought about what Chlorine might be doing to you? Its in all of our town water supplies, part of our daily lives...a silent intruder.

Allergies to Chlorine

•   Pools
•   Spas
•   Home
•   Drinking Water

 

Swimming and Spa pools use a lot of chlorine and it's important to understand the symptoms so you can tell if it's a treatable allergy or something more serious.

 

There are five tell tale signs, these generally show up either while you're swimming or right after you get out of the water.

 

1. Breathing Problems - The following breathing-related symptoms can be similar to an asthma attack and may be more severe in an indoor pool where the chlorine is constantly being breathed in.

•   The sensation of not getting enough air
•   A tight feeling in the chest
•   Not being able to take a deep breath

 

2. Irritation of the Eyes - This is eye irritation that is more severe than the normal reaction experienced by most people who swim in chlorinated pools.

•   Redness
•   Itching
•   Stinging
•   Swollen eyes

 

3. Dry Skin - If the dryness is severe enough, it can lead to:

•   Pain
•   Scratching
•   Peeling skin

 

4. Rashes - When the clothes you wear are exposed to chlorine, for example the bathing suit being worn while in the pool, a rash that resembles the skin condition eczema can affect the entire area where the clothing touches. Leaving that clothing on too long can cause the rash to spread.

 

5. Itching - Chlorine is an irritant and can cause severe itching. Showering after swimming to wash the chlorine off the skin should take care of the problem.


Homes on Town Supply

Much of the water supply in NZ even Britain is chlorinated to kill germs, chlorine in tap water has been linked to the rising number of people developing food allergies, worldwide studies have revealed.

Most individuals are only aware of the internal hazards of chlorine. We know not to drink bleach and not to come in continuous contact with the chemical, but we haven't a clue of all the hazards chlorine poses.

Home is our refuge and the majority of our exposure to chemicals is in the household, using those sweet-smelling cleaners from under the sink, which some will contain chlorine; and this chemical is poisonous. If left exposed to air, it will give off a noxious gas at room temperature.

Skin is living and breathing, and it absorbs everything it comes in contact with. Chemicals are directly absorbed into the bloodstream and while cosmetics and aging creams come under scrutiny for better regulations, cleaning products are not that fortunate. Most commercial cleaners contain harsh chemicals that strip away protective bacteria and alter the ph balance. While we are led to believe that everyday cleansers are tested for safety, the Environmental Working Group reports only 11 percent of products have been tested for safety. A high percentage of women are exposed, every day to chemicals and byproducts that are known or probable carcinogens.

Household bleach is the obvious place chlorine is located; however,  would you be surprised to learn that it is also used in newspapers, magazines, paints, gas and a byproduct in exhaust fumes, just to mention a few. With consumers living under a cloud of chemicals, it's no wonder we develop chlorine allergies.

It can be difficult to change an individual's belief and have them considering how everyday products contributed to them becoming allergic to chloric byproducts. We constantly re-heat food containers, and disposable products in the microwave. The toxins from plastic can leech into food and beverages, slowly providing people with chlorine allergies. Most would never consider chloride being used in plastics, but polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is heavily used in the manufacturing of plastic materials. Vinyl chloride has also been identified as a known carcinogen and long-term exposure can lead to brain cancer, leukemia, liver cancer and endocrine problems.

Just about everybody has been exposed to PVC at some time in their lives. Our food is packaged in it, clothing is often made from PVC and toys are made from plastic. The CDC performed a test in 1993 on animals and people. The PVC chemical was found in 93 percent of the people and animals tested.

Many large named brands have stopped using PVC for food and clothing. For the most part, there are still substances made from plastic that can leech into food and beverages, with levels well above the safety standard.

 

•   Plastic products are stamped with a number. Do not use any plastics numbered 3, 6 or 7 because they are bad for the environment and may be bad for your overall health.
•   Always check to make sure dishes used for microwaving says microwave safe and does not have a number 7. The byproduct leeches into the foods. Check for any cracked or discolored containers and toss them, because they leech even more byproduct.
•   Take food out of storage containers and microwave on a ceramic plate and do not use plastic wrap in the microwave.

 

Food is sprayed with pesticides, air filled with pollution and our minds and bodies continuously under stress. If you feel tired and rundown with itchy taunt skin, chances are you're suffering from toxic overload and need to give your body a break to restore balance.
 
What can you do to combat this?
 

•   Unblock your system with a salt bath. Add two cups of sea salt or Epsom salts to warm water and soak for 20 minutes. The heat will encourage the toxins to leave your body through open pores. Add more hot water to maintain the temperature and avoid using soap, which can interfere with the salt's suction action. Only indulge in this once a month, as it is a powerful detoxification treatment.
•   Seaweed will stimulate your metabolism, encouraging the burning of fat. It also flushes out toxins and boosts your immune system. The elements in seaweed pass straight through your skin to deep cleanse and detoxify. Pick up some seaweed from a health food or natural foods store. Soak in the seaweed based bath for no more than 20 minutes and then wrap yourself up in a blanket and rest for another 20 minutes. Be aware, seaweed treatments are potent and will keep you wide awake, so it's not suggested you use this cleansing agent at bedtime.
•   You can also add warm water to a cup of sea salt and massage the paste into your body. Use firm, circular movements over problem areas and avoid delicate skin. Rinse the mixture off in your shower and hop under some covers. The more you sweat, the more the toxins are shifting, eliminating themselves from your body. Keep a glass of water handy to replenish body liquids lost during the night.
•   A light facial massage can boost circulation and improve lymphatic drainage. Use your thumbs to apply pressure under your cheekbones and your index finger to gently pinch the flesh on top.
•   Beta-1, 3-D Glucan is a supplement that originates from yeast. It has become one of the most powerful immune boosters, without any side effects. It works by stimulating the immune system to trap and extinguish foreign substances. It acts as a scavenger.
•   Vitamin E is best known for its antioxidant effects. Its main function is to protect all cellular membranes in the body from oxidative stress. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage.
•   Zinc increases the number of infection-fighting T-cells. Purchase chelated zinc supplements to help fight against skin problems.

 

Working with Chemicals in the home
 

•   Clean without the chemicals. To cut the risk of any allergy to chlorine start avoiding harsh detergents and chemicals in commercial cleaning products by making your own cleanser or purchasing organic products. The easiest way to make an all natural product is by mixing a half-cup of vinegar with a half-gallon of warm water and placing into a spray bottle. The mixture works on just about any surface in the home, including counter-tops, wood floors, appliances, glass and more. Microfibre cloths are more effective than sprays.
•   Choose all-natural fibers. Switching to organic cotton towels, bedding and clothing will help to avoid exposure to any chlorine byproducts. Swap out a vinyl shower curtain and liner with something made from cotton or hemp. There have been many researched studies that have reported vinyl shower curtains can emit volatile compounds, lead, phthalates, and other toxic materials.
•   Use a UV Water Systems Ltd UV filtering system to minimize the amount of chemicals in tap water. Whole house UV filters can also be used to remove chlorine, and pesticides included in the water. Be sure you filter the whole house, not a small tap in the kitchen as you shower and brush your teeth in the bathroom.

 

Why Chlorine Is Harmful For Your Skin
 
Chlorine will bond to the skin and hair, destroying your body's' natural balance, which in turn can lead to immune disruption.

It can also dry out skin and contribute to neurological and auto immune deficiency. There are various reactions including rashes, a swollen face and eyes, runny nose and these allergies can also develop into breathing difficulties.
 
"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."
 
Health Freedom News, January/February 1987

DNA Damage
When organic material in water is disinfected, it leaves what is called a disinfection byproduct (DBP). These DBPs may be genotoxic, which means that they have the ability to damage DNA. This occurs more frequently in swimming pools than drinking water as the water is recycled many times over and sweat, sunscreen, cosmetics and urine are frequently added to the water. This leads to the creation of more DBPs, which, at their strongest, may even cause a higher incidence of bladder cancer according to University of Illinois geneticist Michael Plewa.

Asthma and Allergies
According to a study listed on Dr. Andrew Weil's website, the chances of getting asthma are increased by swimming in chlorinated water. In the study, there was a 100 to 200 percent increase in the development in asthma in youngsters between 13 and 18 who swam frequently in chlorinated water.

Improper Growth and Health
More studies are needed on the effects of chlorine on drinking and swimming water to determine other potential health impacts. A study was performed on a group of chickens, one of which was raised with chlorinated water and the other with nonchlorinated water. The group raised with chlorine showed poor circulation, drooped feathers and various conditions of the heart. The non-chlorinated group grew faster, larger and had no cardiovascular issues. As a result of the study, major poultry producers of the country ceased using chlorinated water. While humans are much different than chickens, it does bring up questions about how much chlorinated water limits human health.