Your Bath Water Might be Making You Sick
Can the water we bathe and shower in make us sick? Maybe. Here’s why, and what you can do to protect yourself.
The water we drink plays a huge role in our overall health. To keep bacteria out of the water we get from municipal drinking water sources, most cities add chlorine as a disinfectant.
But chlorine and other common chemical disinfectants may have a damaging impact on our bodies’ beneficial bacteria as well.
When used as a water treatment, chlorine combines with organics to form compounds called trihalomethanes (THMs). One of the most common THMs formed is chloroform, a known carcinogen. This and other similar compounds are toxic when consumed, inhaled or applied to the skin.
Research conducted on the health effects of chlorinated municipal water have demonstrated a variety of toxicity issues. Free radicals in chlorinated water have been linked to liver malfunction, weakening of the immune system and pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries.
It’s reasonable to assume chlorinated water adversely affects beneficial intestinal flora. Chlorine is a powerful antimicrobial agent, and is an effective pesticide against many different strains of bacteria. The compounds in disinfected water may be able to reach the gut not only through our drinking water, but also through daily showers and baths.
Bathing in carcinogenic water may be worse than drinking it.
While our bodies can filter out much chlorine we ingest through drinking, the THMs and other disinfectant byproducts we inhale during showers and baths may be much more harmful, as inhalation lets the chemicals directly into our blood stream.
Research has demonstrated that the cancer risk associated with chlorinated water may actually be due to showering and bathing, rather than drinking the disinfected water.
- Filtration of your shower or bath water may be more important than even filtering your drinking water.
But don’t worry, it’s actually simple to filter out.
As long as you keep your filter updated and replace it when indicated, you don’t have to give this info a second thought.
Just make sure you’re actually filtering the right thing. Different municipalities use different chemicals to sterilize the drinking water, and a chlorine filter might not necessarily filter something like chloramine.
While you wait for your shower/bath water filter to arrive…
You can take some simple precautions to reduce exposure to chlorine, chloramine and similar chemicals while you wait for your filtration system to arrive:
- Take shorter showers.
- Avoid excessively hot showers .
- Turn off the water while you lather up.
This will reduce your exposure to breathing in the vapourized chemicals in your water supply.
Check with your local water supply company to figure out the disinfecting agents it uses. You can then use that information to make a decision about which shower filter is most appropriate for you and your family.
Until we know more about how chlorinated water affects our health, the best move is to err on the side of safety. Keep your kids and other family members from absorbing too much of these potentially harmful chemicals.
Visit our online showroom today and place your order. We stock a variety of filtration options from Everpure, the leading name in residential and commercial water filtration.