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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chlorine - Health benefits

Chlorine is a highly reactive gas. It is a naturally occurring element. The largest users of chlorine are companies that make ethylene dichloride and other chlorinated solvents, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins, chlorofluorocarbons, and propylene oxide. Paper companies use chlorine to bleach paper. Water and waste water treatment plants use chlorine to reduce water levels of micro-organisms that can spread disease to humans (disinfection).
Exposure to chlorine can occur in the workplace or in the environment following releases to air, water, or land. People who use laundry bleach and swimming pool chemicals containing chlorine products are usually not exposed to chlorine itself. Chlorine is generally found only in industrial settings.
Chlorine enters the body breathed in with contaminated air or when consumed with contaminated food or water. It does not remain in the body, due to its reactivity.
Effects of chlorine on human health depend on how the amount of chlorine that is present, and the length and frequency of exposure. Effects also depend on the health of a person or condition of the environment when exposure occurs.
Breathing small amounts of chlorine for short periods of time adversely affects the human respiratory system. Effects differ from coughing and chest pain, to water retention in the lungs. Chlorine irritates the skin, the eyes, and the respiratory system. These effects are not likely to occur at levels of chlorine that are normally found in the environment.
Human health effects associated with breathing or otherwise consuming small amounts of chlorine over long periods of time are not known. Some studies show that workers develop adverse effects from repeat inhalation exposure to chlorine, but others will not.

Chlorine exists in the form of a salt(chloride) in the human body. It is present mostly in the extracellular fluid.

- It is essential for the proper distribution of carbon dioxide and the maintenance of osmotic pressure in the tissues.
- It is necessary for the manufacture of glandular hormone secretions.
- It prevents the building if excessive fat and auto intoxication.
- It regulates the alkali-acid balance in the blood.
- Potassium chloride is also essential for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is needed for proper protein digestion.
- It is involved in the maintenance of proper fluid and electrolyte balance in the system.

- Barley, roasted peas, dry peas, wheat, jawar, bajra, split bengal gram, maize, lotus stems, drumstick leaves, curry leaves, fenugreek leaves, tamarind leaves, spinach, brinjals, cauliflower, melons, water melons.
- The chloride that we take is mostly in the combined form of sodium chloride.

- Excessive loss of salt from the body due to perspiration can result in heat cramps.
- Deficiency may lead to loss of hair and teeth.
- It may also result in impaired digestion of foods and derangement of fluid levels in the body.

- Chlorine is widely used in disinfecting water for drinking. It is also used in swimming pools.
- When taken in the form of eusol, chlorine is used to disinfect chronic ulcers, but this usage is limited because its action is stopped by the presence of excessive organic matter.

SPECIAL NOTE : The fumes of chlorine are poisonous.

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