Anyone who has ever spent much time swimming in a chlorinated pool knows the harsh drying and itching effect chlorine has on skin and hair. That drying, itching and aging effect comes about because chlorine removes the natural protective oils from our skin and hair. In this article we will discuss the only type of shower head water filter that will solve not only these cosmetic issues but the more alarming health concerns recently reported in such sources as The American Journal of Public Health, the EPA and Rutgers University as well. These issues concern the tremendous toxic burden our bodies take on when we take hot showers and baths in chlorinated water.
Now most people reading this would probably think a little chlorine, in minute quantities, in our tap water would not cause a health problem when showering, even if we did not use a shower head water filter. But, did you know the EPA, who oversees the quality of our tap water, allows more chlorine to be in tap water, to kill bacteria and viruses, than is allowed in swimming pools! That is not to say all tap water has chlorine concentrations at that level, but I have tested the level of chlorine in homes, especially ones closer to the municipal treatment plants, that had much higher levels than a swimming pool is allowed.
Another thing you should know is chlorine is not the only harmful chemical pollutant in our water that evaporates easily in hot shower water. There is a whole class of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and radon gas possibilities as well. The EPA’s own scientists have identified 600 cancer causing byproducts of chlorine and some of them exist in virtually every chlorinated water supply in America. You can count on at least some of them being in your water.
When we bathe in water containing these toxins, some of them are absorbed into our bodies through our skin, and our bodies have to become their filter. But, by far the most dangerous health risks come from the effects from breathing in the chemicals and radon gas which evaporate into the air after they are released by the hot shower water.
For example, chloroform is one of the common byproducts of chlorine, and Rutgers University researchers recently showed we receive as much chloroform into our bodies in a ten minute shower as we would from drinking a couple liters of unfiltered tap water. And the EPA agreed, saying that “Due to chlorine and showering, virtually every home in America has a detectable level of chloroform gas in the air.” Chloroform is a strong respiratory irritant that also causes fatigue.
The American Journal of Public Health linked chlorine to “significant increases in certain types of cancer, asthma and skin irritations”, noting that, “up to two-thirds of the harmful exposure was due to skin absorption and inhalation of chlorine in shower water”.
Scientists tell us 98% of the tap water goes down the drain, but 70% to 90% of the volatile chemicals in the water will vaporize into the air before the water hits the shower floor. And this leads to serious health risks since we are inhaling steam while we are showering, taking toxins from our lungs directly into our blood streams in concentrations up to 20 times the concentrations of chlorine and other synthetic chemicals found in tap water.
The only way to protect yourself and your family from inhaling VOCs or radon gas is to filter the water before you use it. To filter the bath water would require a costly whole-house water treatment system and a good one runs about $1,000. However, you can do a pretty good job of it by getting inexpensive shower filters and a kitchen faucet filter for drinking and cooking water.
For the shower head water filter you will want to get the type having both a carbon filter and a redox filter. The carbon will remove VOCs, radon and most of the chlorine that might be in your shower water. The redox filtration will remove all the chlorine and reduce any pathogen growth in the filter. You should be able to get a shower head water filter for about $70, and a good kitchen counter top unit around $100 (add $50 for an under counter unit).
About The Author: David Eastham is a health enthusiast who learned the hard way that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. His website at http://www.Good-Safe-Water.com offers the way, not only to the best dollar for dollar buys in water filtration products, but the best products over all, regardless of price.