Chlorine: meet this contaminant

Buy a filter, or be the filter

Chlorine is the most common chemical used to treat water. The most common compound of chlorine, sodium chloride (common salt), has been known since ancient times. Chlorine (Cl2) is among the ten highest volume chemicals manufactured in the United States. It is produced commercially by electrolysis of sodium chloride brine. Chlorine is used in industry and in household cleaning products. Chlorine was also the first poison gas to be used as a weapon during World War I.

How is chlorine used?

Chlorine has a variety of uses. It is used to disinfect water and is part of the sanitation process for sewage and industrial waste. During the production of paper and cloth, chlorine is used as a bleaching agent. It is also used in cleaning products, including household bleach which is chlorine dissolved in water. Chlorine is used in the preparation of chlorides, chlorinated solvents, pesticides, polymers, synthetic rubbers, and refrigerants.

Too much is dangerous

Chlorine may be commonly used, but is also a serious contaminant. In July, 25 children got sick at a North Carolina water park from too much chlorine in the pool. The children were hospitalized, with nausea and vomiting.

Why you should filter it out of water

At Aquasana we have a saying, “buy a filter, or be the filter”. That means, if you don’t filter contaminants like chlorine out of the water, your body does it for you. We have a demonstration where the boss (yes, we make the boss do it), pours tap water into a glass. He then uses a chemical commonly known as OTO (used in swimming pools to check the chlorine level) to test for the presence of chlorine. Then he swishes the water in his mouth, spits is back into the cup, and then tests for the presence of chlorine again. When he tests again, there is no chlorine. This isn’t a magic trick. His mouth absorbs the chlorine. Yuck. Here’s a video. Makes you want to buy a filter, huh. Chlorine is valuable for sanitizing water, but it is a serious chemical, and one your body doesn’t need.

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