Read before and approved by the Regular Homoeopathic. Medical Society, Chicago, Ill., June 16, 1926.
There is no difference of opinion concerning the definite deleterious effects o chlorine on the human economy, when it is administered in the crude state. In fact it is destructive to all organic life.
Because of that fact, it has been employed by medical men as an antiseptic to destroy disease germs. Unfortunately it not only destroys the germ but the host also; and for that reason it has not proven satisfactory or efficient as an antiseptic.
To kill germ life, it must be highly concentrated and when in that state it is very inimical to human or animal life. Coming to its use in drinking water to protect against diseases brings us down to two propositions.
The first is its inefficiency as a germ destroyer unless employed in such proportions as to be poisonous to animals also.
The second is the potential dangers of the constant use of the small or lighter doses on the human body.
The best and most scientific authorities on the question of dosage or rather the effects of small doses on healthy human beings-are to be found in the homoeopathic literature, as they are specialists along those lines.
Clarke of London, author of the “Dictionary of Materia Medica, “Vol., I (page 505) gives as characteristic symptoms and conditions produces by chlorine water in small doses on healthy human beings (provers) the following :
Spasms and convulsions, coryza and catarrh. Laryngeal spasm especially pronounced, inflamed and ulcerated mouth. Rapid emaciation, acute rheumatic pains, excessive sensitiveness of the skin, nettle rash with fever. Cutis anserina, skin dry, yellow and shriveled, malignant pustules and carbuncle, typhoid state.
The mental state is noteworthy.
Fears he will go crazy, that he will not be able to make a living. Cannot remember names of people he sees, or if he sees the names cannot remember the person. Dr.E.Bacon has recorded in “Medical Visitor,” December, 1893, two cases of chlorine poisoning, that should be of vital interest to all who are compelled to drink chlorine water, or inhale chlorine-impregnated air from the escaping steam of radiators, etc.
The first case was that of a boy of five years who after passing through diphtheria to apparent complete recovery, was suddenly seized with symptoms of croup, loss of voice, crowing inspiration, prolonged expiration, incessant dry cough, great restlessness, high fever, profuse perspiration. The symptoms were aggravated lying on a lounge by the fire, relieved when lying in his mothers lap and still more relieved by being carried about; all the above are classical symptoms of the proving of chlorine.
During the previous illness, Platts chlorides had been placed in the room as a disinfectant, and it occurred to the doctor that chlorine vapor is much heavier than air. He himself lay down on the lounge and in a few moments felt the irritating vapor and began to cough and hack. This passed away on sitting up. The removal of the chlorides had a remarkable effect on the childs cough and respiration were greatly relieved. But the relief came too late as the cause was not discovered for several days, during which time the patient had become steadily weaker and he died the same afternoon.
The other case was that of an old lady who suffered from chronic bronchitis and on January 2, 1892, developed an attack of laryngitis. In three days she was well but the two subsequent weeks on exactly the same day a fresh attack occurred. The fact was, as the doctor discovered, his patient went to the back room where chlorides were kept, every Monday to wash a few things she did not care to sent to the laundry. The chlorides were banished, and though the washing was continued there were no more attacks of laryngitis.
Dr. Bacon adds that since giving up the use of disinfectants other than plenty of fresh air, he has never had laryngeal complications in scarletina or diphtheria though his neighbors have had plenty.
To know the full and chronic effects of chlorine water, one must study the provings of muriatic acid, for chlorinated water soon undergoes a chemical change especially if boiled, oxygen from the water being released and Hydrochloric acid, forming out to the free hydrogen and chlorine present.
Clarke mentions among the marked effects of greatly diluted doses of muriatic acid on the healthy, the producing of stupefying headaches, obscuration of sight and optical illusions, also half sight, whizzing noises in the ears, and hardness of hearing, nose bleed, and loss of smell, rough cracked lips and foul breath, scurvy mouth, paralysis of the tongue, loss of taste, distended sensitive abdomen, pricking, bruised pain in abdominal walls, serous fetid diarrhoea not very painful, involuntary stool, throat pains, paralysis of the bladder, excited sexual desire, impotence, hoarseness, spasmodic cough, stitches about the heart, fever with stinging heat, frequent small intermittent pulse, oily hard skin.
The distinctive feature is the marked muscular prostration from blood poisoning going on to complete paralysis of the brain an heart. Rapid decomposition of tissue hence the blood changes and subsequent muscular weakness and atrophy.
There are pages of lesser symptoms but enough is given to slow the power of a poison even in extremely minute dosage of change from the state of rugged health to that of alarming and dangerous illness.
The unfortunate thing about this question is the insidious way and the slow pace of action that things come on but to go down into states of incurability because of the lateness of their recognition. When the cause is discovered in many of these victims, it will be too late to remedy or cure; the inroads on vitality and tissue changes will be too great to restore or remedy.
Much like those unfortunate victims the radium workers who were only subjected to infinitesimal amounts of the radio-active substances yet nevertheless are doomed to drag on for years of intense suffering without hope of relief and with certain death in the end, unless by some Providential good fortune they may fall into the hands of some real unadulterated homoeopath, whose knowledge alone is sufficient to cope with and subdue the ravages of the merciless scourge, more deadly and certain then any known natural disease.
Chlorine belongs in a class of destructive forces along with arsenic, phosphorus and radium and, like those substances, produces blood and tissue destruction in such slow insidious ways as scarcely to be recognized, except by the keenest observers who have been specially trained to interpret the language of symptoms as promulgated by the peerless Hahnemann and his faithful followers. When the ordinary observe discovers the pathological changes, it is then too late to restore the damage done, especially with the crude and unwieldly weapons which are all they know. Those who follow faithfully, studiously and unremittingly the great law of similars, alone are able to cope with these subtle forces.
It is because of this benign law of homoeopathy that those of us who live it and practice it unceasingly have the vision to see the dire consequences in suffering and broken health that thousands, yes, even millions, must undergo if this scourge of poisoning the water supple with this dreadfully subtle poison even with attenuated dosage, for the smaller the dose constantly used, the more chronic and terrible are the end results. Cancer, tuberculosis and many other obscure vital weakness will be almost universal.
It is because of the wish to prevent this unnecessary horror and suffering among so many unsuspecting and innocent victims that this society has requested the regarding of this paper and puts itself on record against the chlorination scheme of so- called protection. I say so-called because it is an known fact even by the advocates of the scheme that it actually fails to protect.
For, repeatedly, the health commissioner of this city, has warned in his bulletins to citizens, to boil the water if they would be safe. Boiling the water alone is sufficient protection as every one knows and how much easier, cheaper, and better it is, we homoeopaths know because of our knowledge of drug effects, proven on the healthy, even when given in the smallest doses.
The only argument that advocates of chlorination can urge is one of ridicule concerning the smallness of the amount of chlorine used. The amount given by Arthur E. Gorman, Chief of the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering, Department of Health of Chicago, is 300 pounds of chlorine to 800,000,000 gallons of water per day, this was given as only approximately correct. Assuming a quart of water to weigh a pound and multiplying 800,000,000 by 4, we have 3,200,000,000 pounds. Dividing this by 3000 we will arrive at a proportion of 3 pounds of chlorine to 3,200,000 pounds of water, that attenuation, light as it is considerably less than some of the attenuations used to produce pronounced symptoms of sickness on the health by homoeopathic provings.
But here is no way of arriving at any exact proportions of the poison for many times owing to conditions of temperature, that is, when the water is near freezing the chlorine present becomes much more concentrated in amount it congeals into pockets and the water is much more saturated with the gas.
Boiling chlorinated water does not destroy the chlorine or its baneful effects, it merely effects a chemical change giving a dilute solution of hydrochloric or muriatic acid, whose terrible effects have already been related.
But getting back to the small dose and its effects, I want to quote from an eminent allopathic authority, Doctor August Bier of Germany, the discover and advocate of the irritation theory of disease and its cure. In speaking of Hahnemann he says that, “he condemns large doses of medicine since they readily produce aggravations. The doses should be so small that the primary action (the aggravations of the symptoms, or as we now all it, the reaction) is minimum or absent”.
It took us many years in our work with irritants to appreciate that fact. We learned to be cautions after several cases of chronic and sub-acute arthritis suffered a terrific aggravation due to large doses given in other quarters, which in short time made hopeless cripples out of previously fairly ambulatory patients. While we used according to my judgment fairly small doses we still shared the prevailing opinion that it was essential for our therapeutic measures to produce at least considerable local (threshold reaction) or even general reactions.
After considerable experience with a very large series of cases, A.Zimmer pointed our definitely that our doses had still been very much too large; more and more he adopted a method which approached Hahnemanns laws very closely to say the least.
“Hahnemann warns against the giving of even smaller doses too often or for too long a period; such procedure is just as injurious as too large a single dose.
We noted the same when injecting irritants, it may lead to the severest destruction designated by Schittenhelm as body protein cachexia. No doubt the irritant therapy as advocated by us, is a form of homoeopathy in the original sense of Hahnemann. It is interesting to note that it was not homoeopathy which led to our theory about irritants, but reversely the irritants led us on to homoeopathy, hence no one can accuse us of prejudice.
This is a small quotation from a masterly paper read before a large congress of physicians.
It will profit any physician of any school or belief of medicine to read it. As is original and ultra scientific and above all entirely free of prejudice.
Most of all many of our faltering brethren in homoeopathy will be wonderfully strengthened in their faith if they can assimilate even a portion of its contents, for verily homoeopathy is being actually rediscovered before our eyes in this splendid thesis, my quotation was made mainly to show that even some old school authority entirely endorses the homoeopathic professions and principles; viz.: that small doses of an irritant or drugs given too frequently or over a long period may produce very disastrous results.
A short while ago in New York City and also in Chicago, clinics for the treatment of coryzas and catarrh with chlorine gas were given, I believe, under the auspices of the City Health Department. In Washington, D.C., this idea originated. I believe the Public Health Services was sponsor for it. It was broadcasted and printed in the newspapers about the wonderful cures that chlorine gas was making and a great public interest was awakened.
But shortly the New York clinics discontinued these treatments as being injurious to the general health of he patients; even though the catarrhal symptoms were mitigated too may damaged hearts resulted and it was discontinued. We heard very little in the newspapers about this damage, and another medical failure was allowed to quietly pass on.
I do not know whether Chicagos Chlorine Clinic is still doing business or not but I believe not; in would be interesting to hear Doctor Bundesens reason for its disuse.
Recent years we have heard about the wonders of radiums therapeutic power especially in cancer, but the recent investigations among the workers in radium, teach us another story-a horrifying, appalling tragedy.
Those once radiumized, never really recover even from the lightest imaginable doses. Medical science as exemplified by the dominant school knows no antidote or relief for these victims. Ant its vaunted curative qualities are among the most dismal disappointments that ever afflicted the medical profession.
These things are cited to show how easy even so-called experts and recognized medical authority may be deluded and mistaken just as well as we ordinary mortals. And too many times because of a deep unbending prejudice of mind they confirm themselves in error and lead both themselves and their victims to destruction. We are not here to impugn motives or doubt the sincerity of many of the advocates of this theory of water chlorination, but we do challenge their judgment in this matter because they are too prejudiced to inform themselves from every angle.
This subject is one fraught with so much importance and fate to so many individuals present and to come, that we feel it our duty to try, even in a humble way, to awaken public sentiment to a state of enlightenment that will bring about free discussion from various angles together with careful and proper investigation to ascertain the truth of this stupendous problem.
Stupendous, because the lives and health of millions are involved. In our midst today there is already a steady increase of chronic intestinal troubles including cancer and heart disease without any other cause except the constant irritation of chlorinated water.
Our pneumonias are assuming a more virulent form than formerly. Common colds are much more difficult to cure. Chlorine may not be the sole factor but it is chief offender both before and after the infecting organism.
Before infection body resistance is lowered by it and after infection additional toxemia is added to overwhelm the economy and prevent vital reaction toward recovery.
Friends, we appeal to all of you in the name of suffering humanity and as a preventive of untold suffering to rouse yourselves and your neighbors to the dangers of the scourge born of ignorance and perpetuated and nourished in prejudice.
If you value your health or that of your dear ones you must enlighten yourselves and others and organize and sweep this threatened menace from the earth for all time.
The question might come up, what protection do we have if chlorination of water is suspended? Simply boil your drinking water! Doctor Bundesen in his bulletins, advises that to be done frequently.
Chlorination of water has been credited with a marked decrease in typhoid infections. But it is entirely due to better drainage and sewer systems which with simply boiling the water, makes us safer than at present and incomparably less in danger from the point of poisoning.