Chlor-alkali chemistry helps keeps us healthy.
The most famous use of chlor-alkali chemistry is in the disinfection of drinking water. Such disinfectants have been used for over 100 years but the United Nations Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) estimate that almost 900 million people still do not have enough fresh water to meet their daily needs. A lack of potable water is the single most important cause of recurring outbreaks of diseases such as cholera. This is why safe water is number 6 in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is where chlor-alkali disinfectants can help.
Chlor-alkali chemistry also helps transport water such in strong and long-lasting PVC pipes.
It is also found in many other health applications such as:
- Chlor-alkali chemicals are essential in making soap to keep our hands and bodies clean,
- Sodium-based chemicals, from caustic soda, are key in producing pain medications like aspirin,
- Chlorinated solvents help in the preparation of antibiotics, asthma inhalers and cholesterol treatments,
- Sterile, heat-resistant and oxygen permeable PVC blood bags are essential during hospital operations,
- Disinfectants like bleach to safely keep our homes, work environments and hospitals germ-free,
- PVC packaging helps transport our medicines to us to help treat illness,
- Polyurethane is used in ‘balloon pumps’ that can be placed directly in the heart to help it squeeze more blood,
- Chlorinated disinfectants to keep water distribution networks/ showers free of bacteria that cause things like Legionnaires’ disease,