Chlorine Poisoning

Chlorine is killing you

Category: Chlorine Poisoning

Chlorine bleach poisoning: The number one killer

chlorine bleach poisoning chlorine bleach poisoning

This is the reason why chlorine and chlorine bleach account for more accidental poisoning deaths per year than any other substance.

Chlorine bleach poisoning is cited as the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths per year. In a single year, poison control centers receive reports of over 50,000 cases of chlorine bleach poisonings leading to at least eight deaths. Some reported cases of accidental ingestion every year are suicides or homicides or attempted suicides or homicides, and other cases are the result of mixing pool chemicals or overuse of chlorine bleach in pools. These staggering facts lead one to be confused about whether or not people realize that household bleach and chlorine for pools are toxic, poisonous, and powerful. In the case of homicidal use of chlorine or bleach, the killers or would-be killers are painfully aware that chlorine is an effective killer. But in the many cases where someone dies from inhaling chlorine gas while cleaning a pool, it seems that these accident victims are unaware how deadly the substance truly is.

Chlorine: the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths per year

In my research, many sites describe chlorine as “dangerous but necessary” for pool water treatment. Why? Because chlorine is, at its core, a killer of organisms. Chlorine dissolves organic matter into mush. In concentrated form it would dissolve any living tissues it comes in contact with. Why, then, are people able to swim in pools that have chlorine in them? In most bleach bottles or chlorine tanks (not concentrated pool shock treatment or other more concentrated forms), there is only a 0-1% solution of chlorine diluted in water. This solution is powerful enough in 1% solution to kill any micro-organisms that live in or would try to grow in something like a pool. The more chlorine that is added to a pool, the more poisonous, necrotic, corrosive, and deadly it becomes to human tissue. It would not take much chlorine, diluted in another liquid, to kill a person. This is the reason why chlorine and chlorine bleach account for more accidental poisoning deaths per year than any other substance.

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Chlorine in pool water and chlorine bleach as a cleaner/whitener

In several cases, deaths result from mixing too much chlorine in a pool (instead of a 1% solution of chlorine, 3-10% levels are added). This seems like it would be easy enough to do by mistake, but using too much chlorine or bleach is not even necessary to kill a person. Several other cases have been reported in which persons were working with bleach, household cleaners, or other pool cleaners in normal amounts, and died from “bleach poisoning.” Thus, even small amounts of chlorine are dangerous enough to kill you. The bottom line is, chlorine, the ingredient in bleach that only accounts for about 1% of the bleach itself, is used because it is an effective dissolver of organic materials. If you put it in your pool, put it on your clothes, or come in contact with it in any way, it will cause irritation at the site of contact at very diluted levels and will decompose your very being at concentrated levels. To say that it should be handled with care is an understatement. Consider your uses for chlorine and chlorine bleach, and then look at the alternatives. There are alternative clothes-whiteners and cleaners that are more affordable and effective than diluted chlorine bleach. There are pool treatment systems that are more affordable, non-toxic, and more effective than chlorine. Based on this knowledge, if you have safer, more effective, and more affordable alternatives to chlorine (and its likelihood of accidentally killing you or a loved one), why not use them?

oxygen pools

Chlorine Gas Poisoning from Pool Chemicals?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have released multiple reports such as this one in 1991 of death from chlorine toxicity from mixing chlorine or bleach with other chemicals. In the 1991 report, at least 14 persons died from mixing chlorine bleach with other household cleaners over a span of two years. In 2015, in Orange County, California, a man died from mixing regular amounts of chlorine with other pool cleaners when cleaning a swimming pool. The news headlines read, “Even Small Quantities of Chlorine Pose Danger.” The scary thing is…these reports are not even the half of it.

chlorine gas

Lastly, and possibly the most horrific danger, those who are exposed to and ingest chlorinated water on a regular basis are 93% more likely to get CANCER than those who are not exposed to the chemical.

Death, Skin Damage, or Eye Damage from Exposure to Chlorine Alone

In 2011, the CDC released a list of facts about chlorine and gave detailed warnings about the long-term health hazards of chlorine exposure beyond the hazards of mixing chlorine with other chemicals. In this list, the CDC details that exposure to chlorine, in the eyes or on the skin, produces an acid, and it is this acid that can permanently damage or kill a person. It is potentially deadly for a person to touch, inhale, or swallow chlorine, depending on the level of exposure to the chemical. This begs the question, “How much chlorine exposure is unsafe or potentially deadly?”

chlorine rash

Too Much Chlorine in a Pool

Too much chlorine in a pool will send you to the hospital or kill you in one of three ways. It is dangerous, first of all, because it causes burning of the skin and irritation such as rashes, if left untreated, severe cases can have permanent, lasting effects on one’s skin. Another way that too much chlorine in a pool is dangerous is that it causes chlorine gas to be emitted directly off the evaporating water from the pool. Again, inhaled chlorine gas can kill you. Lastly, and possibly the most horrific danger, those who are exposed to and ingest chlorinated water on a regular basis are 93% more likely to get CANCER than those who are not exposed to the chemical. According to the United States Council of Environmental Quality, chlorine exposure to skin or through ingestion also contributes to a long list of other serious health risks such as heart attacks, liver and kidney failure, asthma, miscarriages in women, low sperm count in men, risk of having a child with spina bifida, and weakened immune system to name a few. So whether you are exposed to chlorine in ingesting the chemical and even skin exposure to the chemical, there are so many easy ways you could go wrong and become ill or even die.

chlorine free oxygen pools

What about a Chlorine-Free Pool?

You may be asking yourself how you can still enjoy swimming pools but want to rid your pool water of the toxic, deadly chlorine. I don’t blame you. You’ll be happy to find out that not only is it infinitely healthier to switch to a chlorine-free pool, but it is actually less expensive and easier to maintain one. If you already have a chlorine pool, you can even convert an existing chlorine or saltwater pool system to a non-chlorine Oxygen Pool system. What’s more is that it is only $399 to convert an average pool to an Oxygen Pool system. That cost is less than it costs to maintain a chlorine pool or even to buy one salt water system replacement cell. So whether you’re installing a pool for the first time or want to make the leap, you can learn more at the link below about switching and the health benefits and ease of maintenance for your very own Oxygen Pool today!

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Chlorine Poisoning: Your Chlorine Pool is Killing You

chlorine poisoning

You may be aware of the negative but non-lethal health risks associated with chlorine swimming pools. These include permanent damage to your eyes, skin, and hair from chlorine exposure from swimming pools and noxious but non-damaging effects such as strong bleach odors and permanent discoloration of clothing. You may have heard of chlorine poisoning and read that this is most commonly diagnosed as a result of mixing household cleaners. What you may not know, however, is that the chlorine you put in your swimming pool is not keeping you safe from bacteria, it poses a serious risk of killing you via chlorine poisoning or even explosion.

Decker and Koch (1978) in an article entitled Chlorine Poisoning at the Swimming Pool: An Overlooked Hazard, as well as many others over 70 years, have documented this seemingly blatant hazard.

Chlorine: A Chemical Weapon, a Toxic Gas, an Explosive, and Actual Poison

Chlorine is a toxic chemical. It is so deadly, it is classified as a chemical weapon, a choking hazard, and an explosive material. Read any bottle of chlorine or pool shock treatment containing the chemical and you will find all kinds of warnings from the state department of health or surgeon general to handle with care and that mixing or ingesting the material can kill you. The negative health effects of chlorine are widely documented in scientific journals as well. Do an internet search on chlorine poisoning and you will find endless scholarly and popular articles on The dangers of chlorine poisoning over the past 70 years!

Over 70 Years of Evidence that Chlorine is Deadly

This is certainly not news, we should all have long known that swimming in something that will kill you if you drink it is not safe for us or our children. Decker and Koch (1978) in an article entitled Chlorine Poisoning at the Swimming Pool: An Overlooked Hazard, as well as many others over 70 years, have documented this seemingly blatant hazard. But it doesn’t get better, it gets worse. Instead of trying to make swimming pools safer by using chlorine alternatives, we only have a constantly growing body of evidence that chlorine pools are an idiotic idea and we should have long moved past pool chemicals to safe alternatives such as Oxygen Pools. In 2008, Martinez and Long compiled an Explosion Risk from Swimming Pool Chlorinators and Review of Chlorine Toxicity. If you didn’t already have enough to be scared about from losing your vision from chlorine shock treatment or dying from ingested chlorine, you could die in a number of other ways from simply mishandling the toxic material.

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For many years, you may have intuited or suspected what researchers in clinical toxicology have long known – that chlorine is unsafe to swim in (even in small amounts) because it is toxic not only if ingested, but from mere exposure to skin and eyes. If so, you couldn’t be more right. But it gets worse. Not only are chlorine swimming pools filled with chlorine, most alternatives to chlorine pools such as saltwater pools, minerally treated pools, UV light treated pools, and the others you may read about still get filled with chlorine because it is a cheap treatment method to keep algae and bacteria from growing in the pool water. That being said, don’t lose hope. In this age of technology, there are completely chlorine-free swimming pool systems. It gets better. You will be delighted to know that non-chlorine pools are actually more affordable to own and easier to maintain than chlorine pools! You may be asking yourself, “How can this be?” or “Then why doesn’t everyone switch to non-chlorine pools?” Great questions. I don’t know. You can even convert your existing chlorine pool or saltwater pool to an Oxygen Pool for less than the cost of two years of maintenance or a single salt system replacement. Everything you need to switch or get started is about $399 for an average pool. So rather than ponder these questions any more, you can unburden yourself with the cares of a chlorine death and go chlorine-free!

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