Vitamin C can neutralize chlorine in water

While there are those who rely on chlorination for clean water, not many are aware that various studies have confirmed that chlorine is a toxic chemical.

Exposure to chlorine can damage the arteries and weaken the immune system. Additionally, ingesting chlorine can cause oxidative stress in the cells and destroy fatty acids that are crucial to heart health.

However, a study has confirmed that there is a natural and effective way to neutralize the dangers of chlorine.

Chlorine exposure and vitamin C

Acidosis is another danger associated with chlorine, which can occur when a toxic chemical suppresses cellular oxygen. Acidosis may increase cancer risk, along with other degenerative diseases.

Aside from pools, you can be exposed to chlorine in tap water. While tap water can be filtered, you’re still in danger of chlorine exposure if you swim in pools. Chlorine doesn’t just enter the system through the skin because it can be misted into the air and inhaled, which is a risk that indoor pool swimmers and those who shower in enclosed shower stalls are regularly exposed to.

During winter, chlorine exposure causes respiratory illnesses, especially in households that use humidifiers. When a humidifier releases water into the air, it can also release chlorine gas.

However, despite health hazards, chlorine is still commonly used to sterilize water and various products around the world. Even though chlorine effectively eliminates bacteria, microscopic parasites, and waterborne diseases (e.g., cholera), it still increases our risk of developing cancer and cardiovascular diseases because it is a toxic chemical.

The dangers of chlorination were first documented in the 1950s. During the Korean civil war, soldiers who were given chlorine tablets for their canteens developed severe cardiovascular diseases. A lot of soldiers died because of heart disease within the next ten years.

While you can do your best to avoid areas exposed to chlorine, an effective way to neutralize the toxic chemical is with ascorbic acid or vitamin C, since it chemically destroys chlorine. (Related: 7 Reasons why you should start eating more blueberries.)

The reverse is also true since chlorine can destroy vitamin C. Since both chemicals cancel each other out, consuming more vitamin C than chlorine is crucial to neutralizing the latter.

One gram (g) of vitamin C can neutralize 100 gallons (gal) of water with one part per million (PPM) of chlorine. Take note that one PPM is standard for U.S. drinking water, but it can legally go up to four PPM chlorine.

While the naked eye cannot see the neutralization effect, as it is immediate. This doesn’t mean that you can just dump vitamin C in tap water to make it safe to drink. Tap water can still contain traces of contaminants like fluoride, heavy metals, pesticides, and pharmaceutical drugs.

When chlorine reacts to organic compounds in water, it produces trihalomethanes (THMs) that are considered environmental pollutants. It remains unknown if vitamin C can also neutralize THMs.

Aside from lobbying for water treatment plants and pool facility managers to look into the dangers of chlorination, increasing your vitamin C intake can help neutralize chlorine’s effects.

Natural sources of vitamin C

Here are some natural sources of vitamin C, which can boost your immunity and help protect you from the toxic chemical chlorine:

  • Broccoli – Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable with 132 mg of vitamin C.
  • Chili peppers – A half-cup of chopped/diced chili peppers contains at least 107.8 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C.
  • Kale – Kale contains twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A and about seven times the recommended amount of vitamin K. Additionally, one cup of kale has 80.4 mg of vitamin C.
  • Mango – A mango contains at least 122.3 mg of vitamin C. It also has vitamin A which can boost the immune system and improve eye health.
  • Papaya – Papaya can help brighten the skin, clear the sinuses, and strengthen your bones. One cup of papaya contains 88.3 mg of vitamin C.
  • Red bell pepper – One cup of chopped red bell pepper contains at least three times more vitamin C than an orange (190 mg).
  • Strawberries – One cup of strawberries has 84.7 mg of vitamin C, along with folate and other compounds that are crucial to heart health.

You can read more articles about harmful chemicals like chlorine and how to avoid them at

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