Five Reasons Why Your Showerhead Needs a Filter
Eye and skin irritation? Your shower water might be the cause!
Image via Flickr by Steven Depolo
Five Reasons Why Your Showerhead Needs a Filter
It is the morning routine of nearly every American. You drag yourself out of bed after hitting the snooze button however many times and stumble into the shower. Turning on the water, you stand – or sit – trying to wake up. What seems like precious “me” time is actually dangerous. While you reflect on your day ahead enjoying the water flow, you inadvertently expose your body to the chemicals found in your tap water. Think about it. You filter your drinking water to avoid internal chemical consumption, so why wouldn’t you use a filtered showerhead. After all, your skin is a living, breathing organ, capable of “ingesting” dangerous sediment as if you poured it into a glass and swallowed it.
Although America’s water supply is amongst the cleanest in the world, it is not free of contaminants and harmful chemicals. In fact, many argue that the chemicals used to treat our water are nearly as dangerous as the untreated water. Chlorine is one of the primary agents often used to destroy harmful bacteria in our water supplies. If you own a swimming pool, you know that. This might not seem concerning to you at first, but enjoying a warm, relaxing shower sans the showerhead filters is far different from taking a dip in the pool.
You see, several things are happening at once as you luxuriate in your warm shower. As the warm water touches the cool bathroom air, steam forms. This steam, plus the actual warm water itself, opens the pores on your skin, turning you, essentially, into a sponge. Your skin’s pores begin to drink your shower’s water, and all the chlorine used to sanitize it. While your skin is drinking up the chlorine, it is also soaking in any other chemicals, pharmaceuticals, or dangerous substances found in your tap water. But, the danger doesn’t stop there.
- Shower water generally contains more chlorine than swimming pool water.
- Chlorine is a poisonous gas that causes dermal and respiratory damage.
- Soldiers used chlorine as a chemical weapon in World War I.
What is in your shower’s water is also in your shower’s steam. In fact, the chemical composition concentration is actually higher in your shower’s steam than in the water itself. Consequently, when you shower without a filtered showerhead, you actually release more water contamination into your home’s environment than what is just pouring out of the tap. Steam is the perfect vehicle to deliver pollution in your lungs and your home’s environment, and it does just that when you bathe without using showerhead filters.
People with respiratory problems now know serious this can be. As you relish in the steamy, relaxing goodness of a hot shower, you inhale all that steam… and, all that chlorine. If you are respiratory sensitive, you understand the compounding results – possibly an asthma attack or worse. What you might not realize is that people without respiratory illness are at equal danger as they inhale their shower steam. Even you don’t have respiratory illness, you’re at-risk of chemically associated illnesses, such as cancer, every time you take a shower without a filtered showerhead.
- According to the EPA, U.S. households contain dangerously elevated levels of chloroform.
- Chloroform is chlorine released into a house’s environment via shower water.
- Inhaling the chemicals in your shower’s steam transmits them into your bloodstream quicker than any other absorption method.
But this is all so heavy, isn’t it? It’s serious, and should be taken seriously, but let’s look at some other reasons why you should use showerhead filters that are equally important, but not quite as frightening as a cancer-causing agent previously used in chemical warfare. Showering using a showerhead filter gives your skin that “softer than a baby’s butt” feeling every time you clean up. Why? Because the showerhead filter reduces all those hard-water minerals and chemicals that dry out your skin, including chlorine. Who doesn’t want baby-soft skin when they hop out of the shower to dry off?
And while we’re talking about soft, supple, rash-free skin, let’s talk about your hair. Your hair also stems from living cells. As such, hair responds to chemicals much the same way your skin does. If your shower water is heavy in chlorine and other irritating, drying chemicals, your hair becomes unhealthy and brittle. Sure, we dye, perm, torture our hair so we can sport the latest coif crazes, but shouldn’t we end the cruelty there? Filtering your shower water will bathe your hair in some much-needed purified water, keeping it healthy and soft.
- Chlorine exacerbates eczema and other skin conditions.
- Filtering shower water removes chlorine and reduces chemically related skin irritation and rash.
- Chlorine strips hair of sebum, the hair’s natural lubricant.
When you put it all together, investing in a showerhead filter is a small price to pay. After all, chemical exposure to your skin, hair, respiratory system, and home’s environment, and the resulting damage and illness are only five of many reasons why your shower water needs to be as clean as the filtered water you drink. Oh, and filtering your shower water prevents your eyes from being stung by and irritated the tap water, as well!
I am including the following links to give you more information on water safety, chlorine, and the importance to showering in safe, filtered water:
- United States Environmental Protection Agency: Ground Water and Drinking Water
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Facts About Chlorine
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services: Chlorine
- New York State Department of Health: The Facts About Chlorine
- University of Florida: The Dangers In Your Shower
- Duke University: Inorganic Elements in Tap Water
- University of Nebraska — Lincoln: Drinking Water Contaminants
- North Carolina State University: Health Effects of Drinking Water Contaminants
Written By: Lynn Taylor