Point of Use Systems (Showering)
One of the most shocking components showing up from studies on effects of chlorine is that up to 2/3s of our harmful exposure to chlorine is due to inhalation of steam and skin absorption while showering. A warm shower opens up the pores of the skin and allows for accelerated absorption of chlorine and other chemicals in water. The steam we inhale while showering can contain up to 50 times the level of chemicals than tap water due to the fact that chlorine and most other contaminants vaporize much faster and at a lower temperature than water. Inhalation is a much more harmful means of exposure since the chlorine gas (chloroform) we inhale goes directly into our blood stream. When we drink contaminated water the toxins are partially filtered out by our kidneys and digestive system. In fact, the chlorine exposure from one shower is equal to an entire day's amount of drinking the same water. Chlorine vapours are known to be a strong irritant to the sensitive tissue and bronchial passages inside our lungs, it was used as a chemical weapon in World War II. The inhalation of chlorine is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children which has increased 300% in the last two decades. Showering is suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform in nearly every home because of chlorine in the water. Dr Lance Wallace, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Chlorine in shower water also has a very negative cosmetic effect, robbing our skin and hair of moisture and elasticity, resulting in a less vibrant and youthful appearance. Anyone who has ever swum in a chlorinated pool can relate to the harsh effects that chlorine has on the skin and hair. What's surprising is that we commonly find higher levels of chlorine in our tap water than is recommended safe for swimming pools.
Summery of facts about Chlorine follows:
- Chlorine and chloramine are the most widely used water disinfectants in use by municipalities.
- Chlorine is an excellent disinfectant and easily kills harmful bacteria in water systems.
- Chlorine is an oxidizing agent and as it reacts, it changes into new compounds called trihalomethanes including chloroform and bromoform.
- Chlorine and THM's have been linked to asthma, cancer, skin disorders, and other health problems.
- Chlorine is introduced into the body by drinking tap water, absorption through the skin when bathing, and inhalation of chlorine that off gasses when taking a shower.
- The federal government and health officials recommend that chlorine be removed from water.