During the Vietnam War, autopsies performed on young American soldiers killed in combat left coroners scratching their heads. When examined, these soldiers looked like booze-guzzling, cigarette-smoking, overweight couch potatoes in their 70s…not like 20-year-old fighting machines.
Thick, sticky cholesterol plaques filled their arteries. Some the men had total or partial blockages of one or more arteries. Some even had massive cholesterol lesions on their hearts.
It’s not a stretch to say…if these men hadn’t died in combat…they would have died of a stroke or heart attack. So how’d they get so sick? Was it their diet? Did they smoke too much? Did they inhale Agent Orange?
Well, the U.S. government commissioned a study to solve the mystery. They hired scientists to compare the fallen soldiers to men who died in car crashes. They found one major difference between the two groups of men: Their drinking water.
You see, U.S. soldiers took large "water-purification tablets" before they could safely drink the water in Vietnam. These tablets were pure chlorine.
I guess it did prevent soldiers from getting diarrhea in Vietnam (a major problem in the war)…but it also nearly killed them. And based on the research I’ve seen…if you drink straight from the tap…the same will happen to you, sooner or later.
Keep reading to learn exactly why…
It’s killing us from the inside out
The U.S. started to add chlorine to public drinking water in the early 1900s to combat cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and hepatitis. And very quickly, this technique wiped out disease from America’s water supply. Today, about 98 percent of U.S. cities use chlorine to filter public drinking water.
Yes, I said 98 percent.
But sadly, this may also explain why so many of our loved ones die from heart attack, stroke, or even cancer. To explain myself, let me step back again in time…
In the 1960s, Dr. Joseph M. Price, M.D. exploded onto the medical scene with a book called Coronaries/Cholesterol/Chlorine. He called chlorine "the greatest crippler and killer of modern times." Dr. Price stumbled upon the link between chlorine and heart disease during his service in Vietnam as a medic. Like the U.S. government, Price noticed that healthy young soldiers often had clogged arteries. He too worried about the drinking water.
When Dr. Price returned home from the war, he performed experiments on chickens to see if they’d develop vascular problems — as the troops did — by drinking chlorinated water. He divided his chickens into two groups. One group got chlorinated water and the other group got regular spring water.
He found that 95 percent of the chickens that drank heavily chlorinated water developed heart disease and clogged arteries within a few months. (In humans, the process takes longer.) Plus, he found that the greater the concentration of chlorine, the greater the vascular problems. On the other hand, chickens that drank spring water didn’t develop any problems.
Interestingly, the poultry industry took notice of Price’s work. In fact, to this day, most large poultry farms in the U.S. filter out the chlorine from the water given to their chickens. Too bad chickens are treated better than you and me in this country!
EPA scientist proves Price was right!
Even more recently, Dr. Richard Bull, when he worked for the Environmental Protection Agency, gave chlorinated water to pigeons. He found that pigeons given chlorinated water developed cholesterol levels 50% greater than the group given filtered water.
Turns out, there’s a scientific reason why chlorine causes cholesterol problems. In 1974, the EPA discovered that chlorine reacts with organic matter found naturally in water. It creates harmful compounds called trihalomethanes (or THMs).
Dr. Price believed these THMs cause cholesterol to deposit in your arteries. It doesn’t come from the foods you eat. In fact, he says that cholesterol found in food doesn’t ever make its way into your arteries. Instead, it’s all about the THMs. He believes that they ultimately cause most heart attacks.
He also argues that’s why nobody had heart attacks before 1900. The U.S. government didn’t start adding chlorine to the water until the 20th century.
But that’s not the only problem with THMs…these buggers are also known carcinogens.
Cancer in your drinking water
Besides encouraging cholesterol to stick in your arteries, THMs also encourage the spread of free radicals. As you’ll recall, free radicals are like loose canons flying around in your body. Anything they hit, they damage. So that’s why the link to chlorine and cancer shouldn’t surprise you.
In 1992, Harvard researchers found that drinking tap water raises your bladder and rectal cancer risk. They estimate as many as 10,000 people get these types of cancer each year…simply because they drink tap water filtered with chlorine.
The New York Times ran an article about this study called "Tiny Risk in Chlorinated Water." Give me a break! Ten thousand new cases of bladder cancer each year is hardly a "tiny" risk…especially when you consider that many places in the world safely purify their water without chlorine!
But that’s not the only cancer link…
In 1992, a team of U.S. researchers examined the breast tissue samples take from women in their 60s. The women were identical in almost every way…except half them had breast cancer and the other half didn’t. The other major difference had to do with chlorine…
The researchers found that women with breast cancer had 50 to 60 percent higher levels of chlorine by- products in their tissue samples than women without cancer.
Now, here’s the good news…
You can easily remove chlorine from your water by installing a carbon-based filter. Carbon absorbs chlorine and other contaminants. But as we learned last week, chlorine isn’t your only problem. Fluoride is a killer too…and carbon filters don’t do much to remove fluoride.
I suggest using a home filter with UV or ozone technology. Almost of all of Europe uses this technology to safely filter public water…without a drop of chlorine or fluoride, to boot.
So what gives in the U.S.? You got me on that one. Though, a few cities have begun to switch over to these types of systems…most notably Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Las Vegas.
If you don’t live in one of these cities, don’t lose hope. Contact your local city council member or state legislator to voice your concerns! A few years back some folks from Washington State took on Uncle Sam and got fluoride yanked from their public drinking water!
Lastly, you can look up what’s in your town’s tap water by visiting the Environmental Working Group’s web site. Just go to the site’s main page and look for the "Drinking Water Quality Report." Then enter your zip code.
I found out the last time my town’s water was tested, 17 chemicals exceeded health guidelines. Three chemicals even exceeded the legal limit…including the carcinogen THM I told you about that’s linked to cancer and heart disease. Check out your town’s statistics by visiting www.ewg.org. Hope they’re better than mine.
Dr. Allan Spreen
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