We are all familiar with chlorine and its uses in bleach and pools, etc. It is one of those love/hate chemicals that are a constant part of daily life.
It has its uses – primarily to kill germs and bacteria, but as with many other chemicals too much can be harmful. Unfortunately it is also one of the most prevalent chemicals in city drinking water. The question is, despite all of its benefits, do you really want to be drinking it?
What is Chlorine?
Chlorine is one of the most commonly produced and utilized chemicals manufactured in the United States.
In its natural state it is a yellow-green gas at room temperature. It has a very recognizable pungent odor similar to bleach that is noticeable even at low volumes.
One of chlorine’s first uses was as a weapon. It was utilized in World War 1 as a poison gas against enemy troops. However it found its purpose in the second half of the century as an industrial and household cleaner. The chemical was discovered to be water soluble. When mixed with water it forms hypochlorous acid (HCIO) , hydrochloric acid (HCI), and Trihalomethanes (THMs).
Chlorine, when mixed with water produces a yellowish liquid that has proven useful in many products including chlorinated solvents, polymers, synthetic rubbers, pesticides and refrigerants.