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Apr 23, 2008

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Peggy

However ... chlorine that is not allowed to dissipate from our drinking water before we drink it kills our "good bacteria". And chlorine vapor in hot showers, jacuzzis, etc. can damage the respiratory system. Some people are sensitive or allergic -- and going to an indoor swimming pool can be awful.

This is yet another example of something good that can also be something harmful, if we don't follow the path all the way to the end.

So, I filter my water at the tap and in the shower...makes a tremendous difference. And there are pools that use other chemicals to keep the water pure....

By all means, we need to have scientists involved. But we also need a more diverse group of scientists than is usually present.

Michael W. Kruse

I think level of economic development has to be a factor. Chlorine as an improvement to the water system in Niger may have heatlh benefits far beyond any of the negative side effect you mentioned (like jacuzzis.) Developed nations with more advanced technologies may be able to adopt other startegies. As with so many of these issues, the issue isn't "right or wrong," but rather trade-offs in a particular context.

"But we also need a more diverse group of scientists than is usually present."

No. We just need more of the ones that agree with me. ;)

Peggy

Absolutely! You have to weigh the benefits from the detriments -- like the whole DDT and malaria eradication scenario. :^(

It's when folks want to make sweeping generalizations for all circumstances that I start to push back -- like Mr. Moore did.

"We just need more of the ones that agree with me. ;)" Hehehe....

...BTW, I've been waiting for you to enter the frey over at Jesus Creed with our new commentor, "Ron"....

Rob

It reminds me of the petitions that have gone around for banning Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO). This DHMO is a chemical that is used in paint manufacturing and other heavy industries. But it's in all our rivers and lakes, and they've even found it in baby food. Statistics show that it kills over 3,000 people / yr in the US alone. Sadly, many of them are children killed by DHMO suffication.

Punch line: it's more commonly known as H2O or water. DHMO.com is a website that makes it sound even scarier. Nothing untrue on the website, just taken WAY out of context. Again, it's a matter of weighing the benefits with the dangers.

Which reminds me of my early years when my grandmother gave me a hard time for drinking Coke.

"'They' put a rusty nail in a glass of Coke and in 3 days the rust was gone!" she'd warn.

I'd tell her that "they" also put a regular nail in a glass of water, and within 3 days it was covered with rust.

"If that's what water does to something as hard as a nail, imagine what it does to your stomach!" To this day, I won't touch the stuff. :)

Michael W. Kruse

Peggy, I'm on the road and simply unable to devote much time at the moment. Otherwise I would love to chime in but as it is I think poor Ron is feeling a bit out numbered. :)

Rob, I love the DHMO example. I didn't realize there was a website for it.

Another story my dad tells (a chemist) is the chemistry prof who put a beaker of water and a beaker whiskey on the table in front of the class. He dropped a worm in each beaker. The worm in the water swam around. The one in the whiskey shriveled up and died. The prof asked, “So what does this teach you about whiskey?” To which a student replied, “If you drink whiskey, you won’t have worms?” :)

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