Chlorine Allergy – Symptoms, Risks and Treatments

The most prolific reason for any allergy to chlorine is that we cannot avoid the chemical. There is such a lack of understanding today about hidden chemicals and all the places they are used, individuals end up with suffering from multiple sensitivities from too much chlorine.

Most individuals are only aware of the internal hazards of chlorine. We know not to drink bleach and not to come in continuous contact with the chemical, but we haven’t a clue of all the hazards chlorine poses.

Household bleach is the obvious place chlorine is located; however,  would you be surprised to learn that it is also used in newspapers, magazines, paints, gas and a byproduct in exhaust fumes, just to mention a few. With consumers living under a cloud of chemicals, it’s no wonder we develop chlorine allergies.

Over the years, people have developed an allergy to chlorine, simply because of overload. Without knowing it, we are exposed to this chemical every day. It’s evident indoors, outdoors, at work, in the park, during showers and without doubt, when we go swimming.

For years, environmental protection agencies have explored the connection between skin allergies and exposure to toxins, including individuals allergic to chloric acid. This chemical is used in many cleaning agents within the home, and unbeknown to most parents, it can produce skin sensitivity.

Although chlorine and its derivatives are known toxic agents, it is perceived as a safe disinfectant, so we tend to use it every day.

Research conducted by the National Research Center for Environmental Health found that exposure to chlorinated products showed adverse health effects, and a leading reason for poor respiratory health. While we tend to focus mostly on our skin, breathing in toxins can contribute to asthma and bronchial distress.

Why Chlorine Is Harmful For Your Skin

Chlorine is everywhere in our homes and can be difficult to avoid

Home is our refuge and the majority of our exposure to chemicals is in the household, using those sweet-smelling cleaners from under the sink, which some will contain chlorine; and this chemical is poisonous. If left exposed to air, it will give off a noxious gas at room temperature.

Skin is living and breathing, and it absorbs everything it comes in contact with. Chemicals are directly absorbed into the bloodstream and while cosmetics and aging creams come under scrutiny for better regulations, cleaning products are not that fortunate. Most commercial cleaners contain harsh chemicals that strip away protective bacteria and alter the ph balance. While we are led to believe that everyday cleansers are tested for safety, the Environmental Working Group reports only 11 percent of products have been tested for safety. A high percentage of women are exposed, every day to chemicals and byproducts that are known or probable carcinogens.

Ask most individuals if anything in their bath or shower contains chlorine and the majority will say no. However, states use chlorine and carbon at water treatment systems. Chlorination kills bacteria, parasites and harmful organisms, before it comes back into your home. Most people would never smell the chlorine in their water; however, small amounts over time could cause chlorine allergies. Chlorine will bond to the skin and hair, destroying your body’s’ natural balance, which in turn can lead to immune disruption.

It can also dry out skin and contribute to neurological and auto immune deficiency. There are various reactions including rashes, a swollen face and eyes, runny nose and these allergies can also develop into breathing difficulties.

How To Cut The Risk Of Chlorine Allergies

•    Clean without the chemicals. To cut the risk of any allergy to chlorine start avoiding harsh detergents and chemicals in commercial cleaning products by making your own cleanser or purchasing organic products. The easiest way to make an all natural product is by mixing a half-cup of vinegar with a half-gallon of warm water and placing into a spray bottle. The mixture works on just about any surface in the home, including counter-tops, wood floors, appliances, glass and more.

•    Choose all-natural fibers. Switching to organic cotton towels, bedding and clothing will help to avoid exposure to any chlorine byproducts. Swap out a vinyl shower curtain and liner with something made from cotton or hemp. There have been many researched studies that have reported vinyl shower curtains can emit volatile compounds, lead, phthalates, and other toxic materials.

•    Use a filtering system to minimize the amount of chemicals in tap water. Common faucet filters can also be used to remove chlorine, and pesticides included in the water.

Everyday Products That Contain Chlorine: Grab and Go Plastics

Bottles and other plastic items contain chlorine

It can be difficult to change an individual’s belief and have them considering how everyday products contributed to them becoming allergic to chloric byproducts. We constantly re-heat food containers, and disposable products in the microwave. The toxins from plastic can leech into food and beverages, slowly providing people with chlorine allergies. Most would never consider chloride being used in plastics, but polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is heavily used in the manufacturing of plastic materials. Vinyl chloride has also been identified as a known carcinogen and long-term exposure can lead to brain cancer, leukemia, liver cancer and endocrine problems.

Just about everybody has been exposed to PVC at some time in their lives. Our food is packaged in it, clothing is often made from PVC and toys are made from plastic. The CDC performed a test in 1993 on animals and people. The PVC chemical was found in 93 percent of the people and animals tested.

Many large named brands have stopped using PVC for food and clothing. For the most part, there are still substances made from plastic that can leech into food and beverages, with levels well above the safety standard.

•    As you can see, it’s difficult to avoid chlorine byproducts, because we’re bombarded with the chemical. How do you safeguard your health against everyday products? To start with, everyone must make small lifestyle changes that don’t overly inconvenience the daily routine.

•    Plastic products are stamped with a number. Do not use any plastics numbered 3, 6 or 7 because they are bad for the environment and may be bad for your overall health.

•    Always check to make sure dishes used for microwaving says microwave safe and does not have a number 7. The byproduct leeches into the foods. Check for any cracked or discolored containers and toss them, because they leech even more byproduct.

•    Take food out of storage containers and microwave on a ceramic plate and do not use plastic wrap in the microwave.

Fight Chlorine Allergy by Detoxing Your Life and Building a Stronger Immune System

Detoxing and maintaining a health and balanced lifestyle is the simplest way to boost your immune system against chlorine allergy

People are reluctant to change their lifestyle, even it is for the best. Your skin deserves a non-toxic environment.
Food is sprayed with pesticides, air filled with pollution and our minds and bodies continuously under stress. If you feel tired and rundown with itchy taunt skin, chances are you’re suffering from toxic overload and need to give your body a break to restore balance. Cleaning your mind and body will benefit every inch of you. Expect clearer skin, less irritations, and much more energy.

It would be easy if we could simply shut out the environmental poisons like car fumes and smoke, or avoid the effects of sunlight and office technologies, but technology has not led us down that path yet. What is possible is building a strong immune system to cope with the chemical traps that lie in wait on a daily basis.

Detoxifying simply means de-junking your body. With all the toxic waste we pick up from foods sprayed with pesticides and polluted air, our bodies cannot push the poison out fast enough. This leaves us feeling tired, sluggish, and in need of a boost, but detox your life and your skin will enjoy an instant lift.

  • Unblock your system with a salt bath. Add two cups of sea salt or Epsom salts to warm water and soak for 20 minutes. The heat will encourage the toxins to leave your body through open pores. Add more hot water to maintain the temperature and avoid using soap, which can interfere with the salt’s suction action. Only indulge in this once a month, as it is a powerful detoxification treatment.
  • Seaweed will stimulate your metabolism, encouraging the burning of fat. It also flushes out toxins and boosts your immune system. The elements in seaweed pass straight through your skin to deep cleanse and detoxify. Pick up some seaweed from a health food or natural foods store. Soak in the seaweed based bath for no more than 20 minutes and then wrap yourself up in a blanket and rest for another 20 minutes. Be aware, seaweed treatments are potent and will keep you wide awake, so it’s not suggested you use this cleansing agent at bedtime.
  • You can also add warm water to a cup of sea salt and massage the paste into your body. Use firm, circular movements over problem areas and avoid delicate skin. Rinse the mixture off in your shower and hop under some covers. The more you sweat, the more the toxins are shifting, eliminating themselves from your body. Keep a glass of water handy to replenish body liquids lost during the night.
  • A light facial massage can boost circulation and improve lymphatic drainage. Use your thumbs to apply pressure under your cheekbones and your index finger to gently pinch the flesh on top.

The Importance of Cleansing your Immune System

Skin is the largest organ in the body, so it makes sense that an allergy to chlorine is linked to how we treat our entire body. What you put on and into your body will undoubtedly show up on your skin.

Our digestive system would probably by no means require a colon cleanser if we only consumed all natural organic foods. Yet, the majority of meat products are high in saturated fats, the majority of vegetables and fruit products are overloaded with preservatives and pesticides. Both are harmful and neither has any dietary value. These deviant food products take longer for the digestive system to process and most times are passed along as undigested food—rot and decay in the gastrointestinal tract that become stuck on the walls.

When undigested foods are unable to be eliminated, the byproduct produces toxins, as they become putrid and begin to decay on the walls of our colon. These toxins are absorbed into our blood stream and produces free radicals. But keep in mind, when there is a problem within our colon it shows itself on the outside of our skin.

There are several problems associated with free radicals including:

•    Rapid aging of the skin
•    Gastrointestinal problems
•    Increased heart pressure
•    Hazard for liver disease
•    Increase risk of stroke

The intermittent use of body cleansers will reduce the risk of any remnants becoming compacted on the wall of the colon. It dissolves the accumulated waste in the gastrointestinal tract.

Human waste is full of harmful bacteria and must be constantly eliminated; constipation will cause higher levels of bacteria, the longer it remains.

At first, the immune system can increase white blood cell production to try and balance the system but this puts a strain on your entire immune system. Chances for infection and disease increase dramatically. Unless an effective body cleanser is used to eliminate this matter, bacteria levels can rise to life threatening levels.

Supplements and Vitamins Which Improve Your Immune System

Environmental toxins are everywhere, and there isn’t much you can do to avoid unnecessary exposures. The proactive approach is building a natural bio-defense for your immune system. A few supplements taken everyday can help build the best defense against chlorine allergies.

  • Beta-1, 3-D Glucan is a supplement that originates from yeast. It has become one of the most powerful immune boosters, without any side effects. It works by stimulating the immune system to trap and extinguish foreign substances. It acts as a scavenger.
  • Vitamin E is best known for its antioxidant effects. Its main function is to protect all cellular membranes in the body from oxidative stress. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage.
  • Zinc increases the number of infection-fighting T-cells. Purchase chelated zinc supplements to help fight against skin problems.

Change takes time and getting use to a different lifestyle can be challenging. But detoxing the body can help restore an alkaline balance, making it easier to fight off chlorine allergies and other disease.

References

Kohlhammer, Y. and Henrich, J. (2007), “Chlorine, Chlorination By-Products and Their Allergic and Respiratory Health Effects”, Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews, Volume 3, Number 1, February 2007 , pp. 39-47(9) [view]

Welsh, A. (2011), “Chlorine Allergy: The Causes, Symptoms and Risks” [Online] [view]