Is Drinking Bottled Water Enough To Keep You Safe From Toxins? Check Your Shower

Brace yourself a little bit…

Because this might give you the “heebie-jeebies” every time you turn on your faucet to take a shower or bath from now on.

LET’S START WITH WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY…

A study by Dr. Julian Andelman, of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health states that:

“…volatile chemicals present in many municipal drinking water supplies are especially toxic to people when they are exposed to them when bathing or showering.”

The major health threat posed by these water pollutants is far more likely to be from their inhalation as air pollutants in the home.

The report goes on to say:

“In the past…inhalation exposure to water pollutants has largely been ignored.”

And this…

Taking showers is a health risk, according to research presented last week in a meeting of the American Chemical Society. Showers – and to a lesser extent baths – lead to a greater exposure to toxic chemicals contained in water supplies than does drinking water. The chemicals evaporate out of the water and are inhaled. They can also spread through the house and be inhaled by others.” New Scientist -18 September 1986, Ian Anderson

TAKING SHOWERS IS A HEALTH RISK?

Yes, it definitely can be!

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

In other words, you can end up breathing and absorbing more of these contaminants in the shower than if you drank the same amount of water! But there’s more…

*Diagram adapted from the Weekly Newsmagazine of Science, SCIENCE NEWS.

…Because it seems that hot showers can send between 50 to 80 percent of the dissolved chemicals into the air where – yep, you guessed it – it can be breathed in.

(The silver lining is that emissions from baths seem to be about half as high…)

Now, here are three big, fancy words you should probably know:

  1. Monochloramine,
  2. Dichloramine,
  3. And trichloramine – a nasty, smelly unstable toxin found in your shower.

These are chemicals that vaporize easily out of the water that is heated and “sprayed.”

(Another issue? Warm showers also open up pores, which allows for faster absorption through the skin…making it easier for these chemicals to get inside you!)

All three forms of Chlorine are respiratory irritants, with trichloramine being the most toxic and in the shower these are inhaled and absorbed through your skin.

I’m sure you can see how drinking clean water is just ONE part of the equation – and how absorption through skin and inhalation through lungs are just as important. See how it all comes together?

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

Good news: here are a few simple steps you can take to limit exposure to these dangerous chemicals:

  • Take more baths than showers. (See above.)
  • Take shorter showers. Short showers help, since each doubling in shower time quadruples the dose from accumulating gases.
  • The colder the shower, the better. That’s because cold showers can reduce the vaporization of dissolved volatile chemicals by 50%.
  • You can limit the spread of released gases into the rest of the home by simply making sure the bathroom door is closed.
  • Find the right water filter for your home
  • Lastly, you can learn what’s in the water in your area. Click below to use the free zip-code tool and check what toxins are in your water…
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Resources:

  1. http://www.chloramine.org/toxicshowersandbaths.htm
  2. http://nbwellness.com/water-filtration-resources/
  3. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/molecule-of-the-week/archive/t/trichlora…