Elemental chlorine is highly oxidizing by nature, which made it a popular bleaching and disinfecting agent. In high concentrations, it is extremely poisonous and therefore, it behaves like a gun. You can protect with it or you can kill.
To get elemental chlorine for disinfecting purposes, you have to buy either sodium or calcium hypochlorite (bleaching powder; produces elemental chlorine in much lesser quantities, not enough to become a widespread concern).
Hydrogen peroxide, also a very strong oxidizer and disinfectant is currently replacing chlorine bleaches being more environment-friendly and doesn’t impart toxicity chlorine-based cleaners alike. If you are clueless on where this perniciousness comes from, you’ll be surprised to know the residue it leaves on surfaces. The residue is volatile by nature and gets into the air you breathe, killing off the hordes of good bacteria living on your digestive and respiratory tracts – bacteria beneficial and supportive to the body’s smooth functioning. Worse, the chlorine vapor is absorbed by the skin! No, you don’t get blisters from that, not on the skin; however, the insides of your body are much more sensitive and react differently to the chlorine mixing in the bloodstream. Leaky gut syndrome, oesophagitis, asthma, obstructive lung disease, emphysema (decreased respiratory function) and chronic bronchitis are some of the outcomes, which get further aggravated if you don’t stop from exposing yourself to the toxic vapors of chlorine-cleanser byproducts. Categorically, these are carcinogenic hydrocarbons or organo-chlorines.
The case of Hydrogen Peroxide is a different one. It is a byproduct of photolysed water (water breaks down to hydrogen and oxygen by light) in Nature, plant and animal cells. This is what the antibodies use to kill pathogens in the body. If you have heard the term phagocytosis (cells of the immune system, phagocytes, engulfing and digesting pathogens and cellular debris) and wondered about it, this is how the body puts up its defense against infection. The antibodies produce hydrogen peroxide and stores them in a separate intra-cellular pool; upon meeting a pathogen, it extends its cellular walls around it and opens the pool to flood the newly-formed space, literally drowning and digesting the pathogen. This explains why water is important for a good immune response; if there’s a lack of water, the peroxide within the cells shall be weak and less.
A further breakdown of peroxide produces oxygen and water, which is bio-friendly and requires much less (just 3% in a solution). So while chlorine-based cleaners kills you silently, hydrogen peroxide doesn’t. You’ll need to put a capful in your mouth for 10 minutes (once a day; spit out after 10 min) to see how well and fast it relieves canker sores and make your teeth glisten once more. It will greatly reduce toothache if you got one. With peroxide, germ-free is actually pathogen-free and not a complete wipe out! Moreover, you can’t tell from the smell unlike chlorine.
This makes hydrogen peroxide an ideal dish and kitchen utensil washer (steel, china, wood whatever material it might be). It even kills strong gastroenteric pathogens like salmonella and streptococchus. You may even spraying a 50:50 aqueous solution of peroxide every night on your feet for fungal treatment. It cures even gangrene! Use it to disinfect bathrooms if you don’t want the septic system harmed. The same strength solution also opens up blocked nostrils and plugged sinus while put 8 oz of peroxide straight into your bath if you want to treat any skin infection.
Summarizing, hydrogen peroxide is a much better alternative to bleach as it is less harmful and more eco-friendly. It is always better to purchase and use food grade peroxide so as to ensure safety and purity. It may be a little more expensive compared to bleach, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.
For additional reading regarding hazardous products read How to Immediately Reduce Your Toxic Exposure.