Dangers of Chlorine

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Most of us have grown up with the idea that whiter whites (and brighter colors) mean cleaner clothes. We continue to use chlorine products with abandon to whiten and to disinfect. We write on white paper and bathe in and drink chlorinated water. After all, who wants bacteria-infested water? In our society, chlorine is ubiquitous-and so are its side effects. In fact, the long-term residual effects from chlorine are becoming such a health hazard that the American Public Health Association is urging the American paper industry to stop using chlorine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found dioxin (a toxic byproduct of chlorine) to be 300,000 times more potent as a carcinogen than DDT
Healthy & Natural speaks with Stephen Ashkin, director of product development and environmental affairs at Seventh Generation, a manufacturer of green, non-toxic cleaning products. Although he has a degree in chemistry, Ashkin gained most of his practical knowledge and experience through direct contact in the chemical industry. He literally grew up in the laboratory of his parent's cleaning products manufacturing company. Ashkin chaired the American Society for Testing and Materials' task force that wrote the national cleaning standard for commercial and institutional buildings. He has also chaired President Clinton's Green Chemistry Challenge Task Force. Ashkin is acting advisor for a number of EPA programs including the Indoor Environment Division. He has published numerous articles on environmentally preferable products and is a very popular conference speaker.

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