Chlorine in Florence Mississippi's Water

March 31, 2015


Chlorinated Tap Water

WAPT News recently reported "Tap Water Trouble" in Florence, Mississippi.  The residents are complaining that their water is "full of chemicals," namely chlorine. 

Notably, the water department disregards the problem, saying "it's just the chlorine is a little high."  This situation illustrates a problem with our understanding of chlorine.  We have become too accepting of chlorine's harmful side-effects.

Chlorine is a wonderful sanitizer.  But, it is not safe in all contexts.  See "The Chlorine Problem." Too much exposure to chlorine can cause health problems.  In this case, the residents notice that too much chlorine in the water "burning their skin," discoloring clothes, and killing their plants.  These side-effects should make sense upon understanding that "chlorine" is bleach.

How Much Chlorine is Safe?

Rather than accepting any level of chlorine exposure, people would be better off using chlorine responsibly.  We should use the minimum amount of chlorine needed to kill microorganisms in water.  We should limit our exposure to chlorine wherever reasonable.  We should wash chlorine off our bodies after we are done using the chlorinated water.  

This idea shouldn't be difficult to appreciate.  If you smell like chlorine, it's because you are still covered in chlorine.  Is that good?  You do have a choice - rinsing with concentrated, pH-balanced vitamin C instantly neutralizes chlorine.

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