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Showering and Bathing – Hazardous to Your Health?

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Česky: Pitná voda - kohoutek Español: Agua potable

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The refreshing shower… the relaxing hot, steamy bath… our blessed sanctuaries where we clean up, unwind and relax while we wash away the worries of daily life in a few stolen moments standing under an invigorating spray, or a for a luxuriant hour in a scented, bubbly soak…  Whichever we choose, these beloved daily rituals and routines are a part of everyday life. We take them for granted. We innocently believe that there is no unseen danger to worry about. And why would we worry? We have been bathing and showering our entire lives. Our concern for safety in the tub ends with a no slip bath mat. But is there something more that we need to be concerned about?

There is: tap water, or more specifically, what’s in that tap water.

Now since I became aware of all the goodies that tap water is treated with to ensure it’s bacteria free and safe to drink, I do not drink unfiltered tap water. I don’t want to ingest chlorine or any other additive used to clean our tap water. Many of the chemicals used to clean municipal water are, in fact, known carcinogens and they do have dubious effects on human health. That said, until recently I never gave much thought to the fact that that same said tap water runs straight into my bath tub through the facet and shower- and one day as I was standing in a steamy shower I became aware that it smelled very strongly of chlorine and I began to wonder if the chlorinated water in my shower and tub could have any adverse affects on my health even though I wasn’t ingesting it. To satisfy my curiosity, I did a little research, and here is what I discovered.

Our skin acts like a giant sponge absorbing lotions, potions, water, and literally everything it comes into contact with – including the water we use to bathe with. You can actually absorb up to eight glasses of water during a 10 minute shower! So if you’re showering and bathing in tap water you’re not just absorbing the water – you absorbing everything that hides within that water as well. But unlike drinking that same water which is somewhat filtered through the liver and kidneys, the residue from your shower water travels directly into your bloodstream thereby amplifying the adverse affects of known contaminants such as chlorine and chloramines.  You can actually absorb six times more chlorine per glass in the shower than if you ingested it.

Now I don’t know about you, but I find this information very concerning… and the bad news about bathing with tap water doesn’t stop with absorption of contaminants through the skin. In fact, there’s something hiding in the steam created by that wonderful, luxurious, shower or bath you take every day. During your shower or bath up to 90% of the chemicals found in tap water end up in the air as vapor.  And what happens to that vapor? You innocently breathe it in, and whatever happens to be in that vapor goes straight into your lungs…

Exposure to chlorine through inhalation and absorption has been directly linked to: increases in cancer, respiratory illness, fatigue, compromised immune, miscarriage, dry skin conditions and skin rashes, headaches, eye, nose, and throat irritation, and so much more.  Did you ever think you would need to worry about such things resulting from the simple act of bathing? I certainly didn’t – and yet, we do need to be concerned.

So what can be done? Simple – you need to get the chlorine and other contaminates out of your water in one of two ways. A whole house water filtration system is awesome because it covers everything from cleaning your veggies, dishes, and drinking water, to keeping contaminants out of the water you use for bathing – making a whole house system a simple and convenient choice. Failing that, a simple shower filter will do the job as  well.

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