The two most common pool and spa chemicals are chlorine and bromine.
These are two exorbitantly deadly toxins. Known Chlorine Dangers:
- Chlorine combines with natural organic matter decaying vegetation to form potent cancer causing trihalomethanes (THM’s)
- Collectively include such carcinogens as chloroforms, bromoforms carbon tectachloride, bischlorothane and other cancer causing agents
- The level of chlorine in swimming pools is over 1,000% the level deemed minimally safe by the EPA in water
- Causes atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack
- Causes skin to prematurely age
- Damages the human eye
- Causes bladder, breast, testicular, bladder, colon, or rectal and bowel cancer as well as malignant melanoma
- Damages lung tissue
- Causes acne, psoriasis, seborrhea and eczema
- Converts to dioxins - the most dangers of cancer causing chemicals and which build up permanently within a person's body
causes infertility and birth defects
- Damages the nervous system permanently
"Chlorine is so dangerous" according to PhD biologist/chemist Dr. Herbert Schwartz," that it should be banned. Putting chlorine in water is like starting a time bomb. Cancer, heart trouble, premature senility, both mental and physical are conditions attributable to chlorine treated water supplies. It is making us grow old before our time by producing symptoms of ageing such as hardening of the arteries." Dr. Stephen Askin wrote: "The real issue is not just how toxic chlorine itself is but how the unintended by-products of chlorine (organochlorines and dioxins) remain in the environment. They are persistent in the environment; they do not break down readily and therefore bio-accumulate. This can create a very serious health problem; the dioxins and other toxic chemicals accumulate in the fatty tissues. These contaminants are also hormone disrupters because they mimic estrogen. The EPA has observed and documented hormonal imbalance, suppressed immune systems, reproductive infertility and alterations in fetal development of animals. In viewing the big picture, these factors are perhaps the most frightening results from the widespread use of chlorine." In Super Nutrition for Healthy Hearts Dr Richard Passwater shows how "the origin of heart disease is akin to the origin of cancer" Chlorination could very well be a key factor linking these two major diseases. Chlorine creates THM's and haloforms. These potent chemical pollutants can trigger the production of excess free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals cause cell damage. Excess free radicals can cause normal smooth muscle cells in the arterial wall to go haywire, to mutate. The fibrous plaque consequently formed is essentially a benign tumor. Unfortunately, this tumor is linked with the origin of heart disease."
Is Bromine a safe alternative? Known Bromine Dangers: * If spilled on the skin, it produces painful sores * Has strong unpleasant odor * Is Toxic * Converts to dichlorobromomethane, bromoform and bromate* The Metropolitan Emergency Response Network defines dichlorobromomethan as particularly dangerous and harmful (see below)
Vapor will attack the eyes and lungs
* Causes cancer* Damages skin
* Damages the liver * Causes depression and brain damage
* Damages the nervous system and muscles
* Bromine vapors are known to reduce male sperm count, causes malformed sperm resulting in birth defects and causes male infertility
* Maximum safety precautions should be used when handling it
The Metropolitan Emergency Response Network advises: "Dichlorobromomethane should be handled as a CARCINOGEN--WITH EXTREME CAUTION. * Exposure can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Higher levels can irritate the lungs and may cause you to become dizzy, light-headed and to pass out. Could cause death. * Repeated exposures affects the liver. * Contact can irritate the skin." EVEN WORSE, some pool and spa suppliers urge using both chlorine and bromine together - which doubles their sales. Combining chlorine and bromine is the second most powerful cancer-causing liquid mixture only surpassed by drinking highly radioactive liquids. When combined, chlorine and bromine make 97 carcinogens, 82 mutagens, 28 acute and chronic toxic contaminants and 23 tumor promoters. Many of these complex chemicals resulting from the conversion of chlorine and bromine to other chemicals permanently accumulate in a person's body fat. Each time exposed, the level of carcinogens, mutagens, toxins and tumor promoters increases. With each increase, the risk of cancer increases to a point of it no longer is a question of if the person will develop cancer.
Many people add hydrogen peroxide to their bath and foot bath water for health reasons. H2O2 oxygenates the skin and helps to clean skin (skin is porous and builds upon waste excretion). Hydrogen peroxide also kills fungus and other micro-organisms that live on and just below skin surface. There is no harmful side effects possible as H2O2 is non-toxic.
No one pours typical chlorine and bromine pool chemicals into their bath water believing it healthy.
HOW HYDROGEN PEROXIDE WORKS AGAINST ORGANIC SUBSTANCESHydrogen peroxide has been called a "kamikaze" or "depth charge" chemical against organic substances. H2O2 is simply water (H2O) with an extra oxygen molecule loosely attached (H2O2). When H2O2 contacts any organic molecule, the contact knocks off the extra oxygen molecule. The result is two fold. First, energy is released. Though certainly not noticeable at the atomic/molecular level, the power in "decomposing" H2O2 is so great that hydrogen peroxide has been used to power rockets into space, powered the X-15 first subsonic jet and the U.S.S.R. supersonic attack torpedoes. When the atom breaks free, the kinetic energy holding that atom is released, resulting in a flash of steam heat. The first "killing" ability of the H2O2 is to blow up the organic molecule. The free oxygen atom then impacts the organic molecule, resulting in burning the molecule. Organic substances in contact with pure oxygen "burn" (or more precisely oxidize. The combined result is that the organic molecule is blown up and burned. What remains, then, of the hydrogen peroxide atom? It is now only pure water (H2O2) and pure oxygen (o). It destroys the organic substance and then converts itself to pure water and pure oxygen in the process. There are no toxins in hydrogen peroxide and it is the pure bio-degrading chemical that can not build up in your pool or spa. It not only destroys organic contamination, but also destroys itself in the process to the two purest and most beneficial chemicals: pure water and pure oxygen. There are no other elements in hydrogen peroxide.
NO TOXINS IN HYDROGEN PEROXIDE: H2O2 in pool treatment is not only neither toxic nor harmful, it actually is good for your skin by oxygenating skin (rather than bleaching and poisoning it). As the elements of H2O2 are only pure water and pure oxygen, it will naturally decompose in its usage cycle for 100% decomposition into pure and safe atoms of water and oxygen only. Thus, there is no chemical build up nor conversion to other chemical compositions.
Spa Usage and Costs
The cost difference makes hydrogen peroxide highly attractive if all actual costs are figured. While H2O2 can cost more than other pool chemicals, if you add the numerous support chemicals, testing, and frequency of draining the pool to total comparison makes H2O2 less costly. If you try H2O2 in your spa, you will fall in love with your spa again and never go back to chlorine, bromine or secret ingredient pool chemicals. The H2O2 will eliminate the bad smells that come from untreated spa water, but also has none of the chemical smell of spa treatment chemicals.
Pond Maintenance: Hydrogen peroxide also can be used in ponds with plants to reduce algae and micro-organism growth.
The finest commercial aquariums now use H2O2 to treat their tanks, which contain sea life inventories valued into the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Draining and cleaning tanks is extremely costly, dangerous to sea life that has to be removed and particularly harmful to plant life that can not be removed. However, they can not use the toxic chemicals used for water treatment.
What they found is that H2O2 "attacks" the lowest life forms first - meaning the micro organisms such as fungus and bacteria that harms their sea life. Next, the H2O2 will attack algae and lowest plant life forms. They cease H2O2 treatment level at that point to avoid harm to the higher plant, fish and other aquatic life. The H2O2 that remains in the water will quickly decompose to merely pure water and gaseous oxygen by its interaction with the organic matter in the tank and U.V. from the display lights or sunlight if outdoors. We DO NOT recommend amateur usage of H2O2 in ponds or aquariums with fish. This requires fairly exact testing of concentration levels and supervision that is best left to the professionals in marine life. However, H2O2 treatment is an outstanding way to minimize algae, fungus and other infestations growth turning a beautiful pond into a smelly, cloudy mini swamp.
Safety Issues of 35% hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide for water treatment has been extremely popular and preferred across Europe for decades and in greater numbers in the U.S.A. each month. It not only poised economic challenge to the suppliers of pool chemicals (that require more pool chemicals, refreshing pool chemicals, and then pump-it-all-out and start again with chemicals - but also the manufacturers of complex pool systems for usage of such chemicals. There is little legitimate criticism to make of hydrogen peroxide because in diluted form it is good for your health. Yet the chlorine and bromine merchants must find reason. As a result, we have read some very alarmist warnings of the dangers of hydrogen peroxide. The most common is to read "Imagine the terrible thing that could happen in a serious auto accident in which the hydrogen peroxide bottle is broken!" That is a curious one, given that vehicle also contains many gallons of explosive gasoline and an impact would have to be massive to bust a plastic bottle being driven home. The solution is to transport hydrogen peroxide (and all other chemicals) in the trunk or back of your truck. There is a danger factor to 35% hydrogen peroxide concerning handling that applies to all chemicals in general. It is highly concentrated and if undiluted will sting a person's skin. If you spill 35% hydrogen peroxide on you, in a few seconds your skin will start to sting and to turn white where contact was made. The "treatment" is to quickly wash the area off with water or any safe liquid (soda pop or any other non harmful water based liquid.) Your skin will continue to sting for a few minutes and will turn light yellow or white where there was contact. Within half an hour to an hour, skin color will return to normal. There will be no scarring and no toxins entered the body as H2O2 has no toxins. Like all liquid chemicals, concentrated hydrogen peroxide can damage eyes. Unlike other chemicals that are not water based, flushing the eyes with water not only is the treatment, but water also dilutes hydrogen peroxide to a safe concentration level. 35% hydrogen peroxide will not burn or explode. If spilled on the ground where plants grow, spray it with water to reduce the concentration and it will benefit the plants and grass. Gardens and farmers use hydrogen peroxide for house plants, gardens and commercial farming to oxygenate the soil and kill harmful micro-organisms. The only safety issue of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide is to avoid splashing it on yourself or in your eyes, and to store it away from children or incompetent adults. Carry it in your trunk if moving it.
SAFETY COMPARISON: Once the hydrogen peroxide is diluted in your pool or spa, there are exactly ZERO safety issues. When diluted, all danger vanishes. H2O2 contains no poisons or toxins or any harmful substance. It is water and oxygen. It does not cause cancer. It does not harm or age skin (it refreshes skin). It does not harm the liver, brain, nervous system or brain. Hydrogen peroxide in your pool or spa as the water treatment will not and can not harm you.
SAFE FOR YOUR POOL OR SPA FILTER AND PUMP? Some pool and spa chemical suppliers and Internet retailers warn that hydrogen peroxide will damage the pump and/or filtration system. Is this true? The answer is no, maybe, and no. Hydrogen peroxide in a concentrated form can damage natural rubber and certain metal (silver). Nearly all pools and spas use plastic, steel, synthetic "rubber", fiberglass and stainless steel. Those would not be harmed by any concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The answer is "maybe" if natural rubber is used AND if you have the mindset of the chemical merchants. Their view of water treatment is that you pour powerful chemicals into your pool to remain permanently in the water. As those turn to other chemicals, you then should add more chemical. Finally, when the chemical soup is so out-of-wack and awful, you should pump it all out and start with a new chemical soup and repeat the process. There is no rationality if following that apparent love of chemicals in usage of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide will kill the organics - and convert itself to pure water and pure oxygen in doing so. What hydrogen peroxide remains will also convert to water and oxygen over the next few days by reaction to the U.V. in sunlight. No only does H2O2 purge your pool of organic contamination, it also then purges your pool of itself. There is no increasingly chemical build up with H2O2. Most who use H2O2 for their pool add it at night, turn off the pump and forget about it. Across the night the atoms of H2O2 will destroy micro-organisms. The next day, the sun will reduce the H2O2 concentration further. The pool owner can turn on the pump anytime. Most bleaches, chlorine and pool chemicals also harm rubber - and unlike H2O2 they also build up chemical film and clogging build up. So IF you have natural rubber fittings and IF you pour in lots of H2O2 over and over like other pool chemicals, it could damage your seals, fittings and pump like other pool chemicals ultimately do. So then the final "no", not if you use H2O2 as H2O2, rather than like other pool and spa chemicals - meaning always building up the level of chemicals in your water.
SWIMMING POOLS AND HOT TUBS
The following information on the use of hydrogen peroxide for swimming
pools/hot tubs is considered experimental. Check with your swimming
pool or hot tub manufacturer about the compatibility of hydrogen
peroxide to your system.
It has been found for start up that 1 pint of 35% food or technical
grade hydrogen peroxide should be added for each 1000 gallons in the
pool system. Let stand for one day with the circulation pump running
intermittently. (Dr. Donsbach indicates from his experience that an
average size pool takes about eight gallons to begin with and then
one-half to one gallon must be added per week.) The pool should be
maintained at 40 parts per million. This can be determined by peroxide
test strips or by use of a titration kit.
It is extremely important to keep the filters clean. The addition of
an ultra violet light or an ozonator will reduce the amount of
hydrogen peroxide that you will need to add.
Sunlight will dissipate hydrogen peroxide just as it dissipates
chlorine, so regular additions of H202 will have to be made. The
number of people using the pool or frequency of pool use determines
the amount of H202 that must be added.
Most water from municipal water supplies contains chlorine. This is
why the original "shock" of a large amount of hydrogen peroxide is
necessary for start up. Hydrogen peroxide forces chlorine out of the
water in the pool or hot tub.
One incident where H202 did not work in the pool was because of the
mineral content of the water. A diatomaceous filter will require more
attention than a sand filter because a diatomaceous earth system will
filter out smaller particles than a sand filter. If you have a
diatomaceous earth filter, the addition of a paper filter ahead of the
filter will keep it from clogging up as frequently.
Just a note as to what may happen with extreme amounts of hydrogen
peroxide. I swam in a pool with one hundred parts per million and
noted on getting out of the pool the dead skin flakes that floated on
top of the water. It was very refreshing.
Check with the hot tub manufacturer to determine the compatibility of
your system with H2O2 The average size hot tub could be started up
with one quart or more of 35% H202 until it tests 40 ppm. Turn the
circulation pump on to distribute it evenly, then intermittently
during the next 24 hours. Add enough hydrogen peroxide from time to
time to maintain it at approximately 40 parts per million.