Anyone who has ever swam in chlorinated water for an extended period of time knows the damaging effects of chlorine on skin and hair. Chlorine can leave skin feeling dry and itchy and leave hair dry, brittle, and prone to dandruff. It can cause or further aggravate rashes and other skin irritations and it leaves eyes feeling sore and itchy. Fortunately, most people do not swim very often and thus are free, for the most part, from the destructive nature of chlorine, right? Wrong. The fact is that most municipal water systems contain chlorine, and, depending on the presence of contaminants in the water, levels of chlorine can be quite high.
The use of chlorine in water systems began in the late 19th century as a way to combat diseases like cholera and typhoid, a task at which it was quite effective. As the levels of such diseases began to drop, municipal water systems began a veritable love affair with chlorine and inserted more and more of into the water. Chlorine is a powerful combatant against many parasites and disease-causing pathogens because of its harsh nature. Chlorine, though, is also a poison. Just as its harshness attacks pathogens and parasites, it attacks delicate body tissues when breathed or absorbed through the skin.
Most people recognize the effect of chlorine on the taste and health of drinking and cooking water, but what about the water they bathe in everyday? Chlorine is present in this water, as well, and can cause the same damaging problems to skin and hair as the chlorinated water in swimming pools. When showering, the heat of the water causes pores to expand and these enlarged pores absorb chlorine instantly. Of course, costly cosmetic products are available to counteract the effects of chlorine on skin and hair, but wouldn't it be so much easier and cost-effective to just bathe in cleaner water and prevent these problems in the first place?
The same technology used to filter contaminants and chemicals out of drinking water can be used to filter chlorine and other harmful chemicals out of bathing water. Shower filters promise great cosmetic benefits by providing clean, pure water in which to bathe. Showering in filtered water leaves you with soft, luxurious skin and stronger, healthier hair. Using a shower filter also cuts back on the cost of lotions, moisturizers, and hair products. By eliminating chlorine from the bathing experience, a shower filter can reduce fading of color-treated hair, making dyes last longer and decreasing the need for expensive visits to the hair salon.
Besides the damaging effects on skin and hair, chlorine can cause health problems when inhaled. Inhaling shower water also allows exposure to volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Combined with chlorine, these chemicals can be incredibly dangerous to the delicate tissues in the lungs. The hot water and confined nature of a shower vaporizes chlorine and VOCs and this chemical vapor is then taken into the lungs. Inhalation of such chemical vapor causes great problems for asthmatics, and it can cause similar lung and sinus problems even for those with healthy respiratory systems. In fact, inhaling chemical-laced steam during a shower actually provides more exposure to dangerous chemicals than drinking that very same water! Shower filters provide the solution to these health problems. By using a shower filter to eliminate the presence of chlorine and VOCs in bathing water, costly trips to the doctor can be avoided. With its valuable health benefits, showering in filtered water leaves you breathing easier and feeling healthier.
Chlorine can be a dangerous enemy that not only dries and damages skin and hair, but, when combined with VOCs, causes permanent respiratory problems, as well. Because so few people know about the chemicals present in the water they bathe in everyday, these chemicals attack swiftly and anonymously. The power to combat this enemy lies in pure, filtered water, though. Our skin and hair no longer needs to be chlorine's victim, and we can breathe easier knowing our lungs are free from the violent nature of VOCs. Shower filters can be valuable allies in our battle against these chemicals. Just imagine the wonderful, clean feeling of showering in fresh, naturally pure water!
Written by: Vanessa Lisch
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