Chlorine Revolution, The: The History of Water Disinfection by Michael J. McGuire

By Michael J. McGuire

Maybe no different development of public well-being has been as major. but, few be aware of the interesting tale of an easy idea-disinfecting public water structures with chlorine-that in exactly a hundred years has kept extra lives than the other unmarried future health improvement in human historical past.

At the flip of the 20 th century, such a lot scientists and medical professionals known as the addition of chloride of lime, a toxic chemical, to public water offers not just a preposterous inspiration but in addition an unlawful act - till a brave general practitioner, Dr. John L. Leal, operating with George W. Fuller, the era's maximum sanitary engineer, proved it can be performed adequately and successfully on a wide scale.

This is the 1st publication to inform the excellent real tale of the 1st use of chlorine to disinfect a urban water offer, in Jersey urban, New Jersey, in 1908. this crucial ebook additionally corrects incorrect information long-held within the historic list approximately who was once chargeable for this momentous occasion, giving past due acceptance to the genuine hero of the story-an unflagging champion of public wellbeing and fitness, Dr. John L. Leal

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Additional info for Chlorine Revolution, The: The History of Water Disinfection and the Fight to Save Lives

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Medicines in particular favor were “antiseptics,” which were intended to kill the organism in the intestines. It is hard to believe nowadays, but purgatives, considered part of an antiseptic cure, were given to typhoid fever patients—as if they did not have enough problems in that region of the body. Like many medicines given to patients during this era, the antiseptic cure was many times worse than the disease. 47 Some of these chemicals are recognizable as acute poisons! 48 In his 1868 article detailing the “chlorine water” treatment, J.

Eventually, someone organized a water supply by running pipe from a more distant source or enlarging the pumping station on the river to provide water to fountains or central distribution points. Both private water companies and municipal governments began to provide this function. In some cases, the need for a piped water supply was dictated by the need for fire protection. 71 As towns grew into cities, the difficulty became twofold: find a supply that was big enough to provide water even during droughts and that was, at least, thought to be pure and wholesome.

23 Commercial chloride of lime contained 20 to 35 percent available chlorine, and full-scale manufacturing of chloride of lime began about 1800. 24 Other terms and chemical names for the same material were hypochlorite of lime, calcium hypochlorite, chlorine of lime (or just “lime”), bleaching powder, and bleach. In 1832, an early treatise on “chlorine” by Chester Averill, professor of chemistry at Union College, laid out in some detail the “disinfecting” powers of chloride of lime. The occasion of his essay was a cholera epidemic in Schenectady, New York.

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