In the shower environment, chlorine can either be in liquid or gas state. At higher water temperatures in the enclosed shower stall, chlorine is vaporized, transforming from the liquid to the gas state, where it is inhaled. The United States regulates all showerhead flow at 2.5 gallons per minute. Thus, the science behind shower filtration must take into account the unique situation in the shower, including temperature, flow rate and volume.
Health Benefits of Shower Filters
Did you know that your absorb more than double the levels of chlorine and other synthetic chemicals (SOCs/VOCs) into your body through your skin and through inhalation of steam while showering than from drinking water? Shower filtration is easiest and most economical way to reduce your exposure to chlorine and other harmful contaminants in your tap water.
The American Journal of Public Health links chlorine to "significant increases in certain types of cancer, asthma and skin irritations..." and stated that "up to two-thirds of the harmful exposure was due to skin absorption and inhalation of chlorine in shower water".
The U.S. EPA recently stated that "Due to chlorine and showering, virtually every home in America has a detectable level of chloroform gas in the air." When chlorine vaporizes in steam, and combines with other organic compounds in the air, it converts to chloroform. Chloroform is a strong respiratory irritant and causes fatigue.
Rutgers University researchers confirm that we take in the same levels of chloroform in a ten-minute shower as we would get from drinking 2 liters of tap water. Chloroform is a toxic byproduct of chlorine.
Most people don't realize that tap water typically contains at or above the level of chlorine recommended for swimming pools, 1 to 1.5 ppm.
A warm shower opens up the pores of the skin and allows a high rate of absorption of chlorine and other chemicals. The steam we inhale while showering can contain up to 20 times the concentration of chlorine and other synthetic chemicals as tap water, due to the fact that these chemicals vaporize at a much lower temperature and at a much faster rate than water. While over 98% of the water coming from the showerhead goes down the drain, 70% to 90% of the chemicals in the water vaporize before the water hits the shower floor.
Inhalation of chlorine and chemical vapors is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis. When chemicals are inhaled into our lungs they enter directly into our bloodstream and can have magnified effects compared with ingested chemicals that are partially filtered by digestion. A recent study showed that over one-fourth of the United States Olympic swim team members suffer from some degree of asthma due to prolonged chlorine inhalation.
Removing chlorine and other volatile chemicals with a quality shower filter offers great health benefits.
Cosmetic Benefits of a Shower Filter:
Chlorine also strips the natural protective oils from skin and hair, causing excess drying and aging. In addition to the obvious health benefits of showering in chemical-free water, the cosmetic benefits are even more noticeable. Anyone who has ever gone swimming in a chlorinated pool can relate to the harsh drying effect that chlorine has on your skin and hair. Without the negative effects of chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water, your skin and hair retain moisture more effectively for a younger, healthier look and feel. Chemical-free water also extends the life of hair colorings and highlights.