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Find out how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of chlorine and other chemicals in your drinking, cooking and bathing water!

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Eliminate Toxins From Drinking Water       Chemical Free Swimming Pool     Upgrade to Chlorine Free Pool

History Of Chlorine

The history of chlorine starts with its first reported discovery in 1774 in Sweden when Carl Wilhelm Scheele mixed pyrolusite (manganese dioxide) with spiritus salis (“spirit or breath of salt”). The reaction produced a gas, which he described had “a very perceptible suffocating smell, which was most oppressive to the lungs… and gives the water a slightly acidic taste… the air in it acquires a yellow color…”

Scheele noticed that the gas had high reactivity and bleaching qualities - “…all metals were attacked… fixed alkali was converted into common salt… all vegetable flowers – red, blue, and yellow – became white in a short time; the same thing also happened with green plants… insects immediately died.”

In 1785, French chemist Claude Berthollet first used chlorine gas to bleach textiles. In 1789, he first produced sodium hypochlorite by passing chlorine gas through a solution of sodium carbonate. His further works in his laboratory on the quay Javel in Paris, France resulted in modern bleaches. He called his resulting liquid "Eau de Javel" ("Javel water"), which was a weak solution of sodium hypochlorite. His process was however not very efficient, hence, alternative production methods were sought by other chemists until the near end of the nineteenth century when E.S. Smith discovered the chloralkali process, which used electrolysis of brine to produce sodium hydroxide and chlorine gas, which were then mixed to produce sodium hypochlorite. This process has become the source of essentially all modern elemental chlorine and sodium hydroxide production from 1892 until now.

In 1820s, elemental chlorine solution was first used as a purification agent and disinfectant. This work has been adopted from Antoine-Germain Labarraque who used Berthollet's "Javel water" bleach and other chlorine preparations for the purpose. Since then, elemental chlorine dissolved in chemically basic water (sodium and calcium hypochlorite) has served a continuous function in topical antisepsis such as wound irrigation as well as with public sanitation i.e. swimming and drinking water.

The history of chlorine has played a very important role in protecting America’s drinking water supply and maintaining sanitation from waterborne infectious diseases for around 90 years. During this century, filtration and disinfection thru chlorination has been found responsible for the 50% increase in the life expectancy of people. Hence, the Life Magazine has cited the filtration of drinking water and use of chlorine as "probably the most significant public health advance of the millennium.”

Chlorine was first used for water disinfection in 1850 by John Snow. He attempted to disinfect the broad Street Pump water supply in London using chlorine after an outbreak of Cholera. In 1897, Sims Woodhead also used “bleach solution” as a temporary measure to sterilize the potable water distribution mains at Maidstone, Kent in England after an outbreak of Typhoid Fever. The chlorination of drinking water reportedly reduced typhoid deaths in Great Britain, hence, starting its continuous application in the early years of this century. In 1908, chlorination was adapted in Jersey City, N.J. and other towns and cities across the United States soon followed. This success has resulted in the virtual elimination of waterborne diseases such as Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery and Hepatitis A.

Chlorine has been found to have a broad-spectrum germicidal potency and persistence in water distribution systems, thus, providing residual protection against the growth of dangerous microbes. It has also been found to control taste and odor problems thru oxidation of naturally occurring substances such as foul-smelling algae, decaying vegetation, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.

However, chlorine has also been shown to react with organic matter in the water and form dangerous, carcinogenic Trihalomethanes. According to Dr. Joseph M. Price, MD, in Moseby's Medical Dictionary, "Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times. It is an insidious poison".

Despite chlorine’s efficiency in disinfection of drinking water supplies for almost 100 years, chlorination by-products have imposed critical danger to health officials, the , "chlorinated hydrocarbons,"known as Trihalomethanes (THM's). When chlorine reacts with naturally occurring substances, THMs are formed in drinking water which is found to produce risks for certain types of cancer. Studies have been conducted and showed that human risks to cancer increased with prolonged exposure to chlorine. A study in 1991 also linked chlorinated water and its by-products to cases of bladder cancer. Laboratory studies also showed that chlorine can damage the thyroid gland and cause cancer tumor growth.

As with drinking water, swimming pools which are chlorinated to kill bacteria and harmful microorganisms, have been found to increase health risks in swimmers who are in the pools for extended periods of time. New research findings reveal that children who swim frequently in chlorinated pools have increased risks to develop skin allergies and asthma. Adults who have prolonged exposure to chlorine in swimming pools have also been linked with health problems, bladder and rectal cancers, and an increased risk to develop coronary heart disease.

Belgian researchers also conducted a study and found that chlorine doubles the risks of hay fever and other allergies. When chlorinated water reacts with urine, sweat and other body fluids, it produces irritants which increase the risk of asthma among swimmers and children who frequently swim in pools. This irritant is commonly known as trichloramine which is believed to cause damage to cellular barriers and first-line defences which protect the lungs. In addition, laboratory studies showed an elevated trichloramine levels in people who just sat beside the pool and didn’t actually swim. Further, chlorine is also toxic to the eyes and causes reddened eyes to swimmers. It is harmful to the skin, respiratory passages and lungs and has also been found to be associated with increased hair loss and wrinkle formation especially to male professional swimmers.

Now, opposing findings have concerned home owners with regards to water supply sanitation, either with drinking water or swimming pool maintenance. Health officials have stressed the fundamental essence of safety and health but are questioning what’s more important: sanitation of water to get rid of dangerous bacteria and microorganisms or getting rid of chlorination by-products found to produce health risks.

Thankfully, there have been even greater developments in water sanitation which has allowed for the elimination of chlorine in our drinking, cooking and bathing water all together. Please take the time to learn more about the different options of protecting your family by clicking on the following links. Your health is very important to us and we strive to stay on top of the latest technologies to assure the least amount of chemicals will be found in your water!

Eliminate Toxins From Drinking Water       Chemical Free Swimming Pool     Upgrade to Chlorine Free Pool