Showering: Is Your Health at Risk?
For the past decade, people have focused on the importance of clean drinking water. Purified drinking water reduces or eliminates chemicals found in normal tap water. However, the body derives its need for water from alternative sources, most notably while showering.
It is common practice in North America to shower on a daily basis, sometimes more than once. Unfortunately, most people are unaware that more chlorine is absorbed through the skin during the average shower than by drinking six to eight glasses of tap water. This may make one wonder, how clean is shower water?
Are you a fan of hot showers? Since the skin is porous, it is the body's way of excreting toxins and regulating temperature, hot showers cause the pores of the skin to dilate, allowing chlorine and other free radicals to be rapidly absorbed. Chlorine is also contained within the water vapor that enters the air as steam, and which we breathe into our lungs as we shower. Dr. Halina Brown, a professor of water chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, claims that the exposure to vaporized chemicals in water supplied through showering, bathing and inhalation is 100 times greater than through drinking the water.
Furthermore, chlorine and other water contaminants reduce the effectiveness of many shampoos, conditioners, lotions, oils and skin creams, leaving your skin dry and unnourished. Any contact the body has with water is cause for concern. Swimming pools and hot tubs use chlorine to kill bacteria. Little thought is given to the effect on the human body. Chlorine is a highly toxic element, which has the ability to denature protein. All living organisms are made up of protein; thus any living organism that comes in contact with sufficient quantities of chlorine is killed. After swimming or showering you may notice that you have sore eyes, sinus blockage, respiratory problems (such as asthma), cracking skin (hands and feet), or dry hair and an itchy scalp. You may also feel tired and your skin might smell of chlorine for hours afterwards, even after showering.
What is your health worth? The May 2003 issue of Elle Magazine, featured a showerhead that has a carbon filter that removes chlorine as well as other toxic substances in our water like lead, iron oxides and other sediments that leave dulling deposits on the hair. If the showerhead removes the minerals that cause this dulling effect, one might notice an increase in shine and hydration. This is something you may want to consider when comparing showerheads and filters.
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