Do you remember the days when spending a lot of time in the swimming pool meant your or your friend's blonde hair was going to look more like a green tinged dye disaster? (A tell-tale sign that you spent a great deal of time in chlorinated pools.) This chemical has been long used to help keep swimming pools clean, but did you ever stop and wonder ... if it's strong enough to change blonde hair to green - what else could it be doing?
What Is Chlorine?
You likely learned about chlorine in science class; symbol Cl, atomic number 17 on the periodic table? Ring a bell? We know that it is abundant in nature in its chloride ion form and found in many of the salts that are in the earth. We also know that many animals, including humans need chlorine ... but there is a limit of how much we can actually endure safely.
Now I know you are all saying, "I don't drink that much Clorox." But read on and think again.
How Am I Exposed to Chlorine?
Well, sad to say if you're alive - you've likely been over-exposed. For years, in an effort to provide you with good, clean, safe drinking water - your tap water has been treated with chlorine. Every time you take a drink of tap water, you're ingesting a small dose of poison, put there to protect your health. Oh - and how about when you just need a minute to unwind and relax and opt for a nice hot bath or shower? Your relaxation just increased your risk for chlorine exposure through skin absorption; as a matter of fact, research shows that 2/3s of our harmful exposure is due to inhalation of steam and skin absorption while showering! But sadly it gets even worse - did you know that you don't even have to get in the water to be exposed? There have been reports of people that have tested positive for high levels of chlorine exposure simply from lounging by the pool.
What are the Effects of Chlorine
It's time to take a seat - because this will be a hard pill to swallow. Slowly but surely we are rendering ourselves infertile.
In one study of over 2,000 men exposed to chlorinated water, results found them to have reduced sperm motility (movement) and lower sperm count.
In preliminary animal studies, researchers have found a link between chloride exposure and significant reductions of implantations and viable fetuses.
Researchers in France discovered chlorinated chemicals have the ability to mimic the female estrogen hormone. Scientists have observed male fish growing female sex organs and eggs and the entire male & female population was sterile. (It is projected that 80% of our rivers have estrogen mimicking chemicals.)
The crisis, however, is not limited to waning sperm counts and fertility. These researchers have also found that chlorine exposure is linked to increases in testicular cancer, physical abnormalities of the male genitals, asthma, dementia in the elderly, endometriosis, immune system impairment, diabetes, neurotoxicity, birth defects and forms of cancer.
What Can I Do?
Simply put, chlorine is a pesticide whose only purpose is to kill living organisms. When we consume chlorinated water, it destroys some part of us, damaging our bodies cells and tissues. It has been labeled by one well respected researcher as "the greatest crippler and killer of modern times!" But it doesn't have to be! Chlorine is actually very easy to remove from your water. There are many good water filtration systems on the market and that's where you start. Whether you jump in with both feet and invest in a whole-house system, or elect to start with a simple gravity fed counter top unit (like a Berkey) and a filter on your shower head as your first step - you are standing up for not only your health, but the health of those little ones yet to come! (Remember, even a baby step is a step - and we both know that 'baby steps' are the absolute best!!) Next, take a look at your household chemicals and look for more natural alternatives. And as always - do your own research and be informed! Life really does depend on it.
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook for mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration!