Are Shower Filters Necessary And Beneficial?
Editorial By Charles Strand, Water Quality Specialist
The answer is simply “both”! Over the last decade the cosmetic benefits of showering in filtered water have been realized and experienced 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.” Rena' Matthews / Nutritional Consultant and Editor of Cosmetology Today.
Any one who has ever swam in a chlorinated pool can readily relate to the harsh drying effect that chlorine has on your 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 recentdocumentation 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. Dermal absorption and inhalation of chlorine and other chemicals while showering has now been linked to breast cancer, bladder cancer, asthma and many 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 that when chemicals are inhaled, they get 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.” 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 women 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.
My initial involvement in the home water quality industry began over 15 years ago when we discovered that our six month old son's, so called, “chronic asthma” turned out to be nothing more than a sensitivity to chlorine in our water. I've since produced and sold over 3 million shower filtration systems and heard literally hundreds of testimonials from people who have had similar experiences.
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 over 75,000 toxic chemicals, 2100 of which have already been found in our public water supplies, ( Ralph Nader Research Report), 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. “
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