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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Chlorine (was: Re: distilled water)
Date: 24 Jul 1998 20:49:48 GMT

In <> Eric Hocking
<> writes:
>Steven B. Harris wrote:
>>   Knowing that municipal water supplies really don't have the money to
>> address this tradeoff (going to UV or ozone systems), even if the
>> halogenated organics were dangerous, does not make me happy.  So I at
>> least charcoal filter my tapwater at home.
>Steve, as any pool owner will tell you, fill an open topped jug with tap
>water and let stand for and hour or so.  The chlorine will evaporate out no


   It's not the chlorine I'm worried about, but the chloroform and
other organohalides.

   Chlorine just disportionates to chloride and hypochlorous acid.
Your body has great enzyme systems for dealing with the later, since
it's produced in large quantities in wounds by white cells.  In fact, a
great old surgical antiseptic invented long before antibiotics, and
still used, is Dakin's solution, which is basically 1/10th strength
Clorox, with a little boric acid.  You put a tube in a wound from
bottle, and just run it in over the tissue.  Dead tissues disolve, and
live tissues (with the proper defensive enzymes) get much less septic.
Very similar stuff was first used by Semmelweiss, to disinfect his and
his students' hands between the disecting rooms and the patient exam
rooms in 1850, long before bacteria were known in medicine.

   With new strains of Staph floating around, I suspect doctors are
going to get better (re)aquainted with Dakin's solution.

                                     Steve Harris, M.D.

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