Is Your Shower Water Contaminating Your Body?
When people shower, their intent is to cleanse themselves of the day’s filth and feel clean and refreshed. Therefore, it seems rather unfortunate that in order to clean your body you must simultaneously contaminate it with a number of harmful, even poisonous, chemicals. Many substances are added to most municipal water supplies in the name of public health and safety, but few people realize just how dangerous they can be. Here are some of the things you’re contaminating your body with whenever you shower.
Chlorine is a strongly poisonous substance and one you may be most familiar with in the form on bleach. This toxic chemical is put in some 98 percent of American municipal water supplies with the intent of killing potentially harmful microorganisms. It makes little sense to place something in the water that is definitely harmful to avoid something that is only potentially harmful. In some municipalities, water companies use chloramine, a more ominous form of chlorine.
This chlorine form cannot be boiled out or evaporated, and most commercial water filters are not designed to remove it.
Studies done on the negative effects of chlorine and chloramine in water have linked the substances with an increased risk of allergies, asthma, immune suppression, birth defects, hormone disruption, recurring bacterial and yeast infections of the vagina, heart disease, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, chronic skin disorders and cancer.
Because avoidance of chlorine in tap water is very difficult and expensive, it is recommended that you expose yourself to it as little as possible. Taking cooler showers is strongly advised because the warmer the water is, the more your pores will open up and let the chemicals in. Not installing a water-saving shower head is also a good step. These tend to concentrate the amount of chlorine and chloramine in the water.
Fluoride is another chemical added to most public water supplies with the supposed intent of protecting dental health. However, various studies, some of them by the very same government that mandated water fluoridation, have found that the threats posed by fluoride far outweigh the potential benefits.
In 1944, the American Dental Association condemned fluoridation, citing the increased occurrences of spondylosis, osteosclerosis, osteropetrosis, tooth decay, birth defects, hormonal problems and goiters. More condemning still was the complete lack of evidence that fluoride has no definable benefit to oral health. Even scientists with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refuse to drink the water, opting instead to have non-fluoridated bottled water shipped in for office use. Another alarming risk of fluoride in your water is osteosarcoma, or bone cancer.
Fluoride enters the body easily not only via ingestion but through the skin as well. Like with chlorine, hot water lets fluoride soak in easily through dilated pores and water-saving shower heads concentrate the amount of the chemical in the spray.
Peter Wendt lives in Austin, Texas where he writes and researches public health matters. He recommends his readers click here for more information on this topic.