Are Shower Filters Necessary and Beneficial?
Taken from the 11/15/00 Editorial by Charles Strand, Water Quality Specialist
The answer is very simply; Yes! Shower filters are both; beneficial and for those folks who live in a city or town, they are necessary! Over the last decade the cosmetic benefits of showering in filtered water have been acknowledged by millions of consumers around the world. “It’s so noticeable, you can feel the difference in your skin and hair the very first time you use a shower filter.” Says Rena’ Matthews / Nutritional Consultant and Editor of Cosmetology Today.
Anyone who has ever gone swimming in a chlorinated pool can readily relate to the harsh drying effect chlorine has on skin and hair. By removing chlorine from your shower water you allow your skin and hair to retain their natural moisture content for a softer feel and more youthful appearance. It’s like showering in natural spring water, a difference that is immediately noticeable.
For most people the aesthetic advantages are most noticeable, but recent documentation of the surprising health advantages of showering in filtered water prove the necessity. It has been shown that our body takes in more chemicals during a ten minute shower than from drinking a gallon of the same water.
Shower filters prevent health issues:
Are you aware of the fact that dermal absorption and inhalation of chlorine and other chemicals while showering has now been linked to breast cancer, bladder cancer, asthma and other ailments? During a hot shower the pores of our skin open and allow for an accelerated rate of absorption. We’ve long known that chemicals can be absorbed through the skin; a common example is the nicotine patch. Imagine the rate of chemical absorption in warm water and over the entire surface of your skin.
Of equal concern is the level of chemical exposure from inhalation. Almost all synthetic chemicals, including chlorine, vaporize at a much faster rate than water. The result is that the steam has a much higher concentration of the chemicals found in water, often 10 to 30 times higher. We also know when chemicals are inhaled they find their way into our blood stream almost immediately and have a more intense effect.
The American Journal of Public Health, in 1992, published the results of a ten year study that showed how chlorine in our water caused significant increases in certain types of cancer… and stated that up to 2/3 of our harmful exposure comes from inhalation of steam while showering. The U.S. EPA recently released a report that said, “Virtually every home in America has a detectable level of chloroform gas in the air due to chlorine and showering.”
**Michael’s notation; This statement applies to homes located in cities and many small towns… and not to those homes where water is filtered and certainly not to most country homes.
The National Breast Cancer Fund has published many recent reports on the “Chlorine Connection”, and documented that the one common factor among women with breast cancer is that they all have 50 to 60% higher levels of chlorine by-products in their breast tissue. Today in America, a woman dies of breast cancer every 13 minutes.
Childhood asthma has increased by over 300% in the last two decades even though outdoor air quality has improved. Medical science now suspects a large part of this increase is due to a decline in indoor air quality, much of which can be traced to synthetic chemicals that vaporize and become airborne from shower water.
The health hazards from absorption and inhalation of chemicals while showering have been heavily documented. The cosmetic benefits of showering in filtered water are instantly noticeable. These factors combine to make a shower filter one of the most unique and beneficial household appliances we have available to us.
In today’s industrialized society we use more than 75,000 toxic chemicals, 2100 of which have already been found in our public water supplies, (Ralph Nader Research Report, https://nader.org/1974/11/03/safe-drinking-water/) all of which can be absorbed and inhaled while showering. It is critically important to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals to the greatest degree possible. . . and a shower filter is one of the most effective means of doing so.
“The need for, and benefits of, showering in chemical-free water are equal to or greater than that of drinking chemical free water.”
Charles Strand, Water Quality Specialist
Helpful Links and References for Shower filters:
- Shower filters are pretty reasonable in price. If you have city or chlorinated water, you should have one.