Colon, rectal and bladder cancer risk gets LOWERED by avoiding this toxic chemical
(NaturalHealth365) Colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths, strikes over 145,000 Americans a year – while roughly 55,000 men and 17,000 women develop bladder cancer. Unfortunately, the cause remains a ‘mystery’ for too many people – even though we know about so many triggers to avoid.
For example, an American Journal of Public Health study – publicized (and downplayed) by The New York Times, almost 20 years ago, linked the increased risk of these cancers with an everyday household liquid – tap water treated with chlorine.
Researchers warn that chlorine combines with organic material in water to create dangerous compounds. With over 98 percent of all U.S. water supply systems now chlorinated, this presents an undeniable threat.
To learn how to minimize the danger from the toxic chemical flowing from your faucets, keep reading.
Studies confirm: Chlorinated water will INCREASE your risk of colorectal and bladder cancer
In a 1992 review conducted by researchers at Harvard University and the Medical College of Wisconsin and published in American Journal of Public Health, the team pooled data from ten different studies to create a meta-review – a relatively new approach at the time.
This technique allowed them to detect patterns that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
They found that people drinking chlorinated water had a 21 percent greater risk of getting bladder cancer – and a 38 percent greater risk of getting rectal cancer – when compared to those who drank non-chlorinated water.
The use of chlorine in tap water accounted for 6,500 cases of rectal cancer and 4,200 cases of bladder cancer, the team reported.
Note: currently, The American Cancer Society puts the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer at about 1 in 23.
Study results suppressed or minimized in the mainstream media
A review co-author said the research was suppressed for a year before publication, with several major journals turning it down because they were “…uneasy about informing people about the problem until some alternative was available.”
A New York Times article about the review described the increased cancer risk as “very slight” – while the title (“Tiny Risk in Chlorinated Water”) seemed chosen to further downplay the review’s findings.
The article also pointed out that stopping chlorination – or lowering standards – in other parts of the world had resulted in cholera outbreaks in the past.
And, the co-authors themselves had commented that the potential health risks of microbial contamination of drinking water greatly exceed the risk of cancer. But, even with its uneven reception, the report’s point had been made.
According to the article, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spokesman voiced the hope that the review would spur research about alternative methods of disinfection. Remember when the EPA actually appeared – somewhat – concerned with protecting human and environmental health?!
Additional research confirmed the increased cancer risk.
A 1997 cohort study of postmenopausal women – also published in American Journal of Public Health— showed that the group consuming the very highest levels of chlorinated water had a 68 percent greater chance of developing colon cancer than women in the lowest group.
Unfortunately, the risks of chlorinated water aren’t confined to bladder and colorectal cancer alone.
Highly toxic chlorine carries grave risks to health, including miscarriage and atherosclerosis
Chlorine combines with naturally-occurring organic matter in water to create new, hazardous compounds, known as trihalomethanes (THMs). The most common THM, chloroform, is classified as a Group B carcinogen.
One study showed that women with greater exposure to chlorinated tap water (containing over 75 ppb of THMs, an amount within legal limits) had a higher rate of miscarriage than women at lower ends of the spectrum.
Natural health experts warn that the long-term risks of chlorinated water include the oxidization of lipid contaminants and the formation of excess free radicals, which in turn increase vulnerability to cancer-causing genetic mutations.
Chlorinated water contributes to the harmful oxidation of unsaturated essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s. It also destroys antioxidant vitamin E in the body, along with acidophilus – a type of protective bacteria which helps to nourish the community of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
Studies on both animals and humans show that chlorinated water damages arteries – promoting atherosclerosis and heart attacks.
In a report published in Orthomolecular Medicine, the author cited research from autopsies on American soldiers who died in battle in the Korean War. The soldiers had been issued chlorine tablets for their canteens, causing their drinking water to be highly chlorinated.
As a result, the soldiers showed “gross evidence of arteriosclerosis (narrowing) in the coronary arteries.”
Warning: Swimming pools and hot tubs also cause exposure to chloroform
Unfortunately, the danger does not exist only in drinking water.
Chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs can react with organic compounds, including – but not limited to – sweat, urine, blood, feces, mucus and skin cells.
The resultant chloroform can be absorbed through the skin – and even by inhalation in the course of taking a hot shower.
Not surprisingly, Canadian researchers have found that an hour of swimming in a chlorinated pool caused an increase in chloroform concentration in the blood.
And, drinking chlorinated water (as well as swimming in it) can cause melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
Other adverse effects include increased concentration of chloroform in the lungs, irritation of the eyes, skin and throat, and headaches.
Minimize exposure to chlorine and chloroform with common-sense practices
Clearly, a good water filter – installed on faucets and showerheads – can be your greatest ally when it comes to minimizing exposure to dangerous chlorine. In addition, it’s wise to avoid the use of chlorinated tap water in humidifiers.
Bathroom windows should be left open when showering or bathing.
Experts also recommend limiting – or eliminating – the time you spend in chlorine-laden pools and hot tubs, and cutting down on chlorine levels if you own a pool.
Finally, vitamin C helps to eliminate chlorine. In fact, one gram of vitamin C is capable of neutralizing the chlorine in 100 gallons of water, at chlorine levels of 1 part per million (the standard for US drinking water).
Note: adding vitamin C to unsafe water will not make it drinkable, however, as other contaminants could be present.
The point is: chlorine and vitamin C are “natural enemies” – yet another reason to promote immune defense with healthy, daily dosages of antioxidant vitamin C.
Editor’s note: In terms of healthy drinking water: I only use Tourmaline spring. (and, no, I’m not paid to say that) In addition, if you prefer, you can purify your water – at home – by using a Berkey water purification system. (and, yes, your purchase does help to support our operations – thank you.)
Sources for this article include:
Cancer & Heart Disease
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