The consumption of chlorine changes HDL ("good") cholesterol into LDL cholesterol, creates oxidative damage throughout a body, acts as an immunosuppressant, causes severe arterial damage, and it destroys the fatty acids that are needed for heart health. Chlorine exposure is even one of the main causes of respiratory illnesses in wintertime, for people use humidifiers, which release chlorine gas whenever they are filled with chlorinated water. Showering in chlorinated water similarly releases the gas, and this is strongly tied to asthma.

Nevertheless, chlorine remains the standard chemical that is used to sterilize water supplies throughout the world. It is toxic to every living thing. It truly is effective at killing the bacteria and microscopic parasites that live inside water, but it is likewise destructive to human health. Societies throughout the world have paid an incredible price in carnage for having chlorine-sterilized water. While the 'purification' of water by chlorine has prevented large-scale outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, it has also largely caused our current epidemics of heart disease and cancer, to name a couple.

The real difference of consequence is that we are now dying torturous deaths over a span of decades from poisoning, instead of having much quicker deaths from pathogens. While this may seem like an accomplishment upon a cursory inspection, it is worth considering that most people survived the bacterially-laden water of yesteryear without long-term consequences, but virtually nobody escapes the ravages of chlorine in the present. Chlorine first causes extreme oxidative damage, then it depletes oxygen from the body to cause acidosis, which induces cancers. The arteries are typically in a terrible condition by that time, from the same inflammatory causes.

According to the book, Coronaries Cholesterol Chlorine by Dr. Joseph M. Price, the chlorination problem was first discovered in American soldiers who were participating in the Korean civil war of the 1950's. The effected soldiers had been issued chlorine tablets to 'purify' the water inside their canteens. It was noticed that the twenty-something soldiers were developing severe cardiovascular diseases at an astonishing rate, which tended to mimic the arterial conditions of their grandparents. More of these American soldiers died from heart disease in their thirties and forties than from the bullets of Korean communists.

Avoidance is always the best policy concerning chemicals, but avoidance is not the only solution to the problems of chlorine exposure. Chlorine can be neutralized with vitamin C before it enters a body, or even after it has been consumed. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate) chemically destroys chlorine. The reverse is equally true. Chlorine also destroys vitamin C. Whichever is consumed in a sufficient amount wins. Most people of the civilized world do not eat enough citrus fruits; and they thereby do not get enough vitamin C in the diets, so chlorine freely wreaks havoc throughout the Western world as a result. Furthermore, since chlorine depletes vitamin C within the body, it should be effortless to deduce the devastating health effects of chlorine, which is in effect, an anti-vitamin C chemical. Fortunately, it takes a minuscule amount of vitamin C to neutralize the chlorine that is found in our water.

Whenever chlorine is neutralized industrially, it is usually harsh, sulfur-based chemicals that are used for this purpose, which lower the oxygen content of the water, and these chemicals are themselves somewhat toxic. The United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service sought a non-toxic replacement for such chemicals in 2005, for use whenever factories must dispose of their chlorinated water. If the industrially chlorinated wastewater were dumped into septic systems, it would kill the beneficial bacteria; whereas it would kill the fish and plants if it were spewed into lakes and streams. Therefore, the chlorine is required to be neutralized first.

In April of 2005, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service studied the effects of the two forms of vitamin C (ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate) on chlorine. The group, led by Brenda Land, a sanitary engineer, found that both forms are extremely effective in neutralizing chlorine, and of course, neither form of vitamin C is toxic to marine life. They published their report titled, "Using Vitamin C To Neutralize Chlorine in Water Systems", for the benefit of wastewater operators. It chronicled that just a single gram of vitamin C neutralizes the chlorine from 100 gallons of water that has been chlorinated at a concentration of 1 P.P.M, which is the standard concentration for drinking water in the United States. While most municipal water in the U.S. contains about 1 P.P.M. of chlorine, it may legally contain up to 4 P.P.M. For reference, the average bathtub has a capacity of 60 gallons at the point of overflowing. Since 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid weighs about 5 grams, less than a quarter of a teaspoon would be needed to neutralize the chlorine within the hypothetical bathtub. Using 1 full teaspoon would guarantee that all of the chlorine would be quickly neutralized, even if the highest levels of chlorine were present. The reaction is rapid and invisible.

The inclusion of vitamin C is never enough to make municipal water truly safe, because it contains an array of damaging chemicals and metals that are uneffected by vitamin C. Fluoride, pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, and heavy metals are typical contaminants. Some of the most harmful substances in our water are the THMs (trihalomethanes), which result from chlorine reacting to organic compounds that are already inside the water and our bodies. It is currently unknown as to whether vitamin C has any effect upon already existing THMs, the most notorious of which is chloroform, a potent carcinogen. It is less widely known that the bleaching action of chlorine compounds has a tendency to produce dioxin compounds, as well. The impurities of municipal water and their associated dangers are detailed in our report about tap water.

Whenever chlorinated drinks are the only option, adding a pinch of vitamin C can have a major impact upon reducing its damage and improving taste. Taking a vitamin C supplement 30 minutes prior to drinking a chlorinated beverage can drastically reduce its damage. Therefore, taking vitamin C before going to a restaurant is usually a wise choice. Vitamin C can drastically improve the flavor of soft drinks whenever it is added. We include this because soft drinks are sometimes the only drink option. However, never add vitamin C to soft drinks that contain sodium benzoate, which is the case for most clear soft drinks, because the vitamin C will transform the sodium benzoate into the much more dangerous benzene.

Aquariums and Ponds

@ 4 P.P.M.
Vitamin C
Vitamin C
1 40 mg.1/125th
10 400 mg.1/50th
30 1.2 grams 1/4th
100 4 grams4/5ths
150 6 grams1 1/5th
Those with fish aquariums can use vitamin C instead of chemicals to neutralize chlorine. Vitamin C is significantly safer for fish than dechlorination products. The chart shows how much vitamin C is needed for common tank sizes, assuming a high chlorine content of 4 P.P.M. Be sure to check the pH of the water after adding vitamin C, because it is a mild acid. If the water is made too acidic, then it may safely be adjusted with small amounts of baking soda.

The suitable amount of vitamin C powder can be visually approximated with a teaspoon, or by simply using vitamin C supplement capsules that have known weights. The most pedantic people can get a pocket scale to facilitate measuring with great precision, but it is not necessary. People may simply use a bit extra if they are uncertain. Having too much vitamin C is not harmful, unless the amount is extreme. Chlorine test strips can be found wherever aquarium supplies are sold.

Common Sources of Chlorine Exposure

  • Chlorinated drinking water, including some brands of bottled water
  • Soft drinks
  • Reconstituted juices ("from concentrate")
  • Processed foods
  • Bleached flour
  • Shower mist
  • Skin absorption from showers, baths, and swimming
  • Cleaning and bleaching products
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Insecticides
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Fungicides

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Mihaela Stiso
# how about my home pool ?Mihaela Stiso 2016-02-22 11:39
I have sent you a email about the best option for pool but no answer :( . I just bought a house with a ground in pool that was maintained with the usual chlorine and other chemicals(it is closed now for winter ). My whole family loves the pool but of course i do not want chlorine exposure. I have well water (no chlorine). Do you know of any solution to make my pool safe to swim in ? I have a fish pond which has a UV filter , the hot tub i use colloidal silver and essential oils . With the pool i'm at loss. Please give me some direction.
Thank you
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Saltwater PoolsSarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2017-11-03 14:01
An increasingly popular method of preventing bacteria and algae build-up in pools is using salt instead of chlorine. Such systems are simply called "saltwater pools". There are even machines that you can buy to regulate the amount of salt in a pool at all times.
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Aneta Pietka
# vit c dosage for childrenAneta Pietka 2018-04-19 19:58
How much vit c can I give to children after swimming lessons in chlorine water once a week? can you please recommend a brand of vit c? thanks so much
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# RE: vit c dosage for childrenSarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2018-04-21 01:39
One gram (1,000 mg.) should be plenty. We would just use 500 mg. for young children.
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Aneta Pietka
# calcium ascorbateAneta Pietka 2018-04-21 18:11
thank you Sarah. In the article you mention to use ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate, I could only find calcium ascorbate, is this the same as sodium ascorbate? thank you
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# RE: calcium ascorbateSarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2018-04-22 09:47
No. Ascorbic acid is the most common form of vitamin C, so I'm not sure why you're having trouble finding it. We often use Nature's Way supplements, and they sell vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. Hope this helps.
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guy rocky
# oxygenguy rocky 2018-09-25 15:19
I heard that leaving water open to the air will get rid of some types of chlorine.
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# RE: oxygenSarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2018-09-25 15:59
That is true, but it does take significantly longer, and it's often not practical.
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Waffle B. Staffel
# RE: oxygenWaffle B. Staffel 2018-12-14 23:24
It would be great if chlorine was the only disinfectant in tap water, these days municipalities are using chloramine (generated by a reaction with ammonia I believe) because it remains active much longer in stagnant plumbing, and boiling/aeration are ineffective at removing them. Fortunately vitamin C also neutralizes chloramine. This was documented as effective by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The link doesn't work for me but it's the one that keeps turning up in a search;
I found it by way of a home beer brewer's forum and know it's been used by aquarists too for tasty and healthy beer and fish!;
As for salt water pools, they're actually used in conjunction with an electrolysis device which generates chlorine in situ from the salt (sodium chloride and h2o, in much the same way chlorine bleach was manufactured for a long time in the chloralkali process). It actually generates chlorine, lye, and hydrogen, which then form hypochlorous acid which is what does the sanitizing, same as with a hypochlorite product (pool chlorine).
New owners are often surprised to smell chlorine. As with a conventional pool, the odor is actually the result of the buildup of chloramine waste products due to inadequate chlorine levels. All said I think I'd rather have a salt water pool, or even a pool professionally serviced with gaseous chlorine, as there are far fewer chemicals than a conventional pool and a generally lower chlorine level. I think the high chlorine and chemical/waste levels are the result of needing to make a pool easy enough for a homeowner to service, and overall ignorance of chemistry on the part of salesmen.
I've just started using ascorbic acid to pre treat our drinking water before running it through the carbon filter pitcher and it's remarkably effective. It reminds me of water served with lemon or cucumber, and in retrospect I think the reason those are so pleasant to drink is because the vitamin c from those fruits are more than enough to remove all the chlorine.
Chlorine is terrible enough, but once ridden, but how do people deal with the fluoride present in the majority of US municipalities?
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Grace du Prie
# filtersGrace du Prie 2020-07-16 12:08
We use a reverse osmosis filter in our home that also deals with chloramine and fluoride. It is worth the money. And we have an additional filter on the shower.
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