Be ‘green,’ but be safe

The Christian Science Monitor
Letters to the Editor
March 8, 2004

Be ‘green,’ but be safe

Regarding your March 3 article “Easy on the eyes and the environment”: “Green building” is an exciting and positive step toward striking a balance between our need to live in the natural environment and our responsibility to preserve it for future generations. However, it’s important to go forward with our eyes open – aware that “going green” should be tempered with an appreciation for basic public health consequences.

I was concerned to read that the fundamental public health need of water sanitation and disinfection was compromised by one of the article’s recommendations. The suggested replacement of chlorine with sodium chloride (salt) in pool-water treatment to “keep the water clean” is a secondary substitute that could increase health risks.

Backyard swimming pools can be a source of healthy living or a public health hazard if not treated responsibly. Proper chlorination helps ensure that pool water is disinfected for bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. Chlorine still is a safe and effective answer.

Sanford M. Brown
Fresno, Calif.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Health Science,
California State University

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