Swimming in chlorinated pools can lead to cancer: study

Breitbart

Swimming in chlorinated pools can cause an increased risk of cancer in bathers, Spanish researchers said on Monday.

Researchers from the Barcelona-based Centre of Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) and Research Institute Hospital del Mar studied changes in indicators of mutagenicity — permanent mutation of the DNA — among a group of swimmers in an indoor chlorinated pool.

“The evidence of genotoxic effects were observed in 49 healthy adults after swimming for 40 minutes in a chlorinated indoor pool,” CREAL said in a statement on Monday.

Researchers found indicators of an increase in cancer risk in healthy subjects as well as potential respiratory effects from the chlorine used as a disinfectant, the statement said.

The study was published on Sunday in the US journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The co-director of CREAL, Manolis Kogevinas, said the findings should not put people off swimming.

“The positive health impacts of swimming can be increased by reducing the levels of these chemicals,” he said.

“In no case do we want to stop swimming, but to encourage the reduction of chemicals in swimming pools,” said Kogevinas, who suggested the problems caused by a reduction in levels of disinfectant could be offset if swimmers showered before taking a dip, wore bathing caps and refrained from urinating.

Adendum*

WHAT IS CHLORINE?

Chlorine is a poisonous, greenish-yellow gas described as having a choking odor. It is a very corrosive, hazardous chemical. Usually combined with other chemicals, it is used to disinfect water, purify metals, bleach wood pulp and make other chemicals.

Household bleach, used to whiten fabrics or remove mold from surfaces, is a 5% solution of a stabilized form of chlorine.

Do Not Mix household bleach with acid-containing or ammonia-containing cleaners. Dangerous levels of a very harmful gas can be released.

Most of the chlorine that enters lakes, streams, or soil evaporates into the air or combines with other chemicals into more stable compounds. Chlorine-containing chemicals that seep through soil down into groundwater can remain unchanged for many years.

HOW ARE PEOPLE EXPOSED TO CHLORINE?

Exposures to chlorine gas are usually due to industrial processes or accidental spills. Chlorine is added in small amounts to some municipal water supplies when bacteria contamination threatens public health. When chlorine combines with lake or river water, a class of chemicals that includes chloroform can be formed. (See chloroform fact sheet)

Breathing: Most high-level exposure occurs in workplaces where chlorine is used. People may inhale chlorine by using chlorine bleach or by living near an industry that uses chlorine.

The smell from treated drinking water or swimming pools may be irritating but isn’t usually harmful.

Drinking/Eating: Low level exposure can occur when water containing chlorine is used for drinking or for food preparation.

Touching: The body does not absorb chlorine well. However, small amounts can pass through the skin when people are exposed to chlorine gas, chlorine bleach, or bathing in water with high levels of chlorine. Lower levels of exposure can occur when people handle soil or water containing chlorine.

DO STANDARDS EXIST FOR REGULATING CHLORINE?

Water: The proposed federal drinking water standard for chlorine is 4 parts per million (ppm). Many city water supplies are treated with chlorine to reduce the possible spread of bacterial disease. The system operators are required to maintain a detectable level of chlorine in the piping system. We suggest you stop drinking water that contains more than 4 ppm of chlorine on a regular basis.

Air: No standards exist for the amount of chlorine allowed in the air of homes. We use a formula to convert workplace limits to home limits. Based on the formula, we recommend levels be no higher than 0.01 ppm of chlorine in air. Most people can smell chlorine when levels reach 0.02-3.4 ppm. If you can smell chlorine in your home, the level may be too high to be safe.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources regulates the amount of chlorine that can be released by industries.

WILL EXPOSURE TO CHLORINE RESULT IN HARMFUL HEALTH EFFECTS?

Short-term, high-level exposures:

  • Immediately or shortly after exposure to 30 ppm or more of chlorine gas, a person may have chest pain, vomiting, coughing, difficulty breathing, or excess fluid in their lungs. Exposure to 430 ppm in air for 30 minutes will cause death.
  • The health effects of breathing air that has less than 30 ppm of chlorine are the same as listed below for inhaling liquid bleach vapors.
  • Liquid chlorine bleach and its vapors (at levels of 3-6 ppm in air) are irritating to eyes. At levels of 15 ppm in air people experience nose and throat irritation. Touching liquid chlorine bleach can cause skin irritation. Drinking levels over 4 ppm can cause throat and stomach irritation, nausea and vomiting.

Long-term, low-level exposure (e.g. several years of exposure to chlorine):

Organ Systems: The main effects of exposure to chlorine gas include diseases of the lung and tooth corrosion. People with previous lung disease, smokers, and those with breathing problems are more sensitive to chlorine.

Cancer: There is no information currently available about whether chlorine causes cancer.

Reproductive Effects: No reproductive effects from chlorine exposure have been reported.

In general, chemicals affect the same organ systems in all people who are exposed.

A person’s reaction depends on several things, including individual health, heredity, previous exposure to chemicals including medicines, and personal habits such as smoking or drinking.

It is also important to consider the length of exposure to the chemical; the amount of chemical exposure; and whether the chemical was inhaled, touched, or eaten. People with preexisting lung or heart disease may be particularly sensitive to the effects of chlorine.

CAN A MEDICAL TEST DETERMINE EXPOSURE TO CHLORINE?

By testing lung function and examining your skin and teeth, your doctor can evaluate the health effects of chlorine exposure.

Seek medical advice if you have any symptoms that you think may be related to chemical exposure.

*Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The New Prison Industrial-Complex

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Global Research

There is a new technological trend in the United States that promises to use advances in Internet, GPS, and chemical detection technology to manage states’ surging prison and parolee populations. Several states, particularly those with massive budget deficits like California and Michigan, are unable to shoulder the burden of housing more inmates in their dangerously overcrowded prisons. They are therefore dramatically increasing the use of GPS technology to monitor the whereabouts and activities of parolees, as well as using the technology for home detention programs and even alcohol consumption monitoring. While it is true that GPS ankle bracelets have been in use for a few years now, new technology, laws, and applications are increasing the use of such devices in what is soon to be a booming industry – fully dependent upon the corrections system.

In Richmond, California, statistically identified as having America’s fourteenth highest crime rate [1] , the police recently fitted twenty parolees with GPS tracking devices on their ankles. [2] The devices include paging systems that require the parolee to call his or her parole agent each time they feel the device vibrate. Police officers say that they can use the devices to track parolees and place them at the scene of a crime committed while on parole. The tracking devices do, however, bring into question the status of a parolee’s civil liberties and may open the door to court challenges regarding invasion of privacy and other constitutionally guaranteed rights. The political will of several states are fully behind using the new technology and the courts thus far seem to like the flexibility they offer in sentencing and early release. The Richmond program is merely the tip of the iceberg.

In Los Angeles, for example, the police have established the Realtime Analysis and Critical Response (RACR) division, which uses a website called VeriTracks to follow parolees. [3] Parolees wearing the tracking devices are tracked online in real time with their whereabouts shown on a map by a green colored dot. RACR has the ability to type in the location of a crime and determine whether or not a parolee was at the scene of the crime at or around the time of the incident. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been paroling gang members on the condition that they wear the tracking devices and has also begun using the devices on sex offenders. In fact, under a new law called Chelsea’s Law , those convicted of violent sex acts against children under age 14 would qualify for lifetime GPS tracking. [4] In 2007, California was projected to spend $30 million on GPS tracking devices and services. The state now spends around $80 million annually on equipment and services without any proof that the new technology has made citizens safer. [5]

The State of Florida has signed on to use a new type of technology, sold by the company ActSoft, which not only monitors the whereabouts of a person, but also can detect whether or not that person has been drinking alcohol. Florida asserts that the technology is being used to free up space in prisons for violent offenders and is even giving people charged with reckless driving with the option of either going to jail to await trial, or staying out on bail with an ankle bracelet that can detect alcohol in their blood. [6] The system works by detecting the presence of ethanol vapors, a telltale sign of the metabolism of alcohol.

Public safety advocates continue to push for greater restrictions on the freedom of movement, and the elimination of privacy rights of those charged with or convicted of crimes. This is not a new platform in the annals of America’s criminal justice system. Public figures regularly jump at the opportunity to be perceived as tough on crime and, in fact, are terrified of being perceived as weak on crime. The fear is that public at large will hold politicians accountable for their perceived weakness on crime and, as such, this is a perception that politicians want to avoid at all costs – no matter what the evidence says regarding the effectiveness of “get tough on crime” measures. Fortunately for those fearing the perception of weakness, state budget crises all across America are enabling lawmakers to also use public finances as a justification for the increased use of electronic monitoring, otherwise known as “tethering,” on those in the criminal justice system.

States all across the country are engaged in cost analyses and coming to the conclusion that the use of electronic tethers is highly cost effective. One county jurisdiction in Michigan is reporting that people who are incarcerated cost the county $95 per day, while those who are tethered only cost between $6 and $12 per day. [7] In 2007, Florida had to pay approximately $12 per day for electronic monitoring while incarceration cost the state $43.26 per day for a man and $65.46 per day for a woman. [8] The attractive cost differential is being touted by businesses providing the equipment and monitoring services and is creating a new aspect of business in America’s prison-industrial complex which once grew as a result of increasing the number of prisons built – whether publicly or privately owned. [9] Whereas the expansion of America’s prison system was once an integral part of politics, the “war on crime,” and a new economic base for impoverished rural areas, state budget problems have forced the complex to rely on a new form of technology that could one day enable the monitoring of parolees or people in pre-trial confinement to be outsourced to foreign countries. The profit potential for companies providing electronic monitoring equipment and services is noteworthy. Denver’s Alcohol Monitoring Solutions has claimed that the market for their products could eventually be worth $1.3 billion per year. [10]

Civil rights advocates have warned that the privacy, search and seizure, and due process of parolees and others might be violated by having someone watching them around the clock, particularly those who are required to wear the devices for life. Such an obligation equals new punishment after punishment for the crime has already been rendered and time served. Additionally, those required to wear the devices may find it hard to obtain a job and become normal, productive members of society.

Paul C. Wright is an attorney, business consultant, and legal researcher who has practiced both military and civil law. His legal practice areas have included criminal, international, insurance, and consumer law.Paul C. Wright is an attorney, business consultant, and legal researcher who has practiced both military and civil law. His legal practice areas have included criminal, international, insurance, and consumer law.