You take care to filter your drinking water, but have you thought about what’s lurking in your shower water?
If you’re not filtering your shower head water, you could be introducing bacteria, contaminants, and chemicals to your skin everytime you shower.
A shower head filter can protect you from these harmful contaminants.
Want to learn more?
Read on to learn about shower head filters and 10 reasons why you should install one in your bathroom.
How Does a Shower Head Filter Work?
A shower head filter usually has a KDF-55 piece. The KDF piece is what reduces the amount of chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants in your water.
Some shower filters also use chlorgon. Chlorgon converts chlorine into chloride. Chlorgon can effectively get rid of chlorine at higher temperatures.
You simply install your water filter and then replace the cartridge regularly.
What’s the Big Deal About Chlorine?
The biggest concern over unfiltered shower water is the presence of chlorine and one of its byproducts, chloroform.
Chlorine is added to our tap water for disinfectant purposes. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says chlorine is added at safe levels for us to drink, the byproducts of the chemical can be harmful to us.
Trihalomethanes (THMs) are byproducts of chlorinating water. They come from a reaction between matter in the water and the chlorine.
There are four main types of THM byproducts from chlorine:
We are regularly being exposed to THMs when we shower or bathe.
One THM, chloroform, is released into the air as a byproduct of adding chlorine to drinking water.
Chloroform is also released into our atmosphere from chlorinating swimming pools and wastewater. Other sources of chloroform release include pulp mills, paper mills, waste sites that are hazardous, and landfills. Chloroform has been historically used as an anesthetic, but not anymore.
We are exposed to chloroform and other THMs when we shower and bathe.
Why does this matter? Because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in its 14th Report on Carcinogens listed chloroform as a “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
Read on to see the effects that chloroform has on our health.
10 Reasons to Install a Shower Water Filter
1. Chloroform is Linked to Cancer
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies chloroform as a probable carcinogen. Studies on animals have shown that chloroform is carcinogenic and causes increases in tumors of the liver and kidneys.
In humans, short-term exposure to chloroform can cause central nervous system depression. Long-term exposure through inhalation can negatively affect the liver and cause jaundice or hepatitis.
Studies have also shown a possible link between individuals who drank chlorinated water and cancer in the colon and urinary bladder. Research also shows that rats and mice have developed cancer in their liver and kidneys after ingesting food and drink that had a lot of chloroform in it.
Although the EPA does set rules for how much chloroform can enter our tap water, we don’t know how safe even small amounts of exposure can be.
Although this research is with higher exposure to chloroform, you still should not want this chemical in your shower water.
2. We Absorb Chloroform from Showering
Think that chloroform enters your body just by ingesting it? Chloroform enters your body through your skin too.
Your skin is your largest organ. When you bathe or shower, your skin absorbs chemicals from the water such as chloroform.
You also inhale chloroform when showering. In fact, research shows we inhale and absorb higher concentrations of THMs such as chloroform than by ingesting it.
3. Exposure to Chloroform Can Be Unsafe For Pregnant Women
Exposure to chloroform can also be unsafe for pregnant women.
Rats and mice who breathed in elevated levels of chloroform while pregnant or ate chloroform had miscarriages. Moreover, rat and mice babies of parents who inhaled chloroform had birth defects.
4. Shower Heads Are Full of Bacteria
Your shower head is full of bacteria and germs that can make you sick. Studies show that a layer of biofilm on shower heads have disease-causing bacteria.
The bacteria in the biofilm thrive in moist, dark and warm environments. Shower heads are the perfect environment for these bacteria to grow. When you take a shower, a spray of the bacteria from the biofilm can end up on you.
Although the bacteria is not inherently dangerous, they can make those with weakened immune systems sick.
Studies found mycobacterium avium in 20 percent of the shower heads sampled. This bacteria can cause lung infections for both healthy individuals and those with weaker immune systems such as smokers, alcoholics, or those with chronic lung disease.
5. Your Water Can Cause Premature Wrinkles
Do you suffer from dry skin? Do you experience skin irritation when you step out of the shower? The chlorine in your shower water could be the culprit.
Chlorine not only kills bad bacteria when added to our water, it also kills good bacteria. It kills intestinal flora, which are bacteria that help us digest food and make vitamins B12 and K.
Chlorinated water also kills vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids. This results in skin irritations such as eczema and rashes.
Chlorine can also speed up the aging process. It can kill the protein our skin needs and cause dry skin. Chlorine sucks the moisture out of our skin.
What can you do to combat this? Get a shower head filter to reduce the amount of chlorine that your skin absorbs.
6. Your Water Can Also Cause Dry Hair
Chlorine doesn’t just dry out your skin, it also wreaks havoc on your hair. Do you feel like your once lustrous locks aren’t as smooth as they used to be? Do you have dry hair that keeps breaking?
This is yet another reason to purchase a filtered shower head. By filtering out harsh chemicals like chlorine, you can get healthier, stronger hair.
7. Save Money on Skin and Hair Products
Are you spending hundreds of dollars per year on skin care and hair care products? Are you always looking for the next best serum that can add moisture back into your skin?
Your hair and skin will naturally become more moisturized with a shower head filter. You will need less hair and skin care products, saving you money.
8. Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
Your shower could be contributing to indoor air pollution. When you take a hot shower, any chemicals found in contaminated shower water can convert to gas form and are released into the atmosphere.
According to the EPA, researchers found an increase of air pollutants due to bath and shower water.
By installing a shower filter, you can reduce indoor air pollution and have better air quality in your home.
7. Prevent Asthma and Allergies-Related Issues
Research shows that exposure to chlorine in swimming pools can increase the risk of childhood asthma. The study explains that the culprit is probably the chemical trichloramine which is a gas released from chlorine. Trichloramine can cause eye irritation and upper respiratory tract irritation.
The chemicals found in chlorinated water can also exacerbate asthma issues.
Moreover, your water quality could be contributing to your allergies. The chemical dichlorophenol is also added to our tap water. Some studies are suggesting there is a link between dichlorophenol and food allergies.
One study tested over 10,000 Americans and saw that those with higher levels of the chemical were more likely to experience food allergies.
Fluoride is another chemical added to tap water. It is added to help decrease tooth decay. However, studies have suggested that it can contribute to asthma and allergy problems.
8. Save on Medical Costs
If you filter your shower water, you will be exposed to fewer chemicals and disease-causing bacteria. Therefore, you will be less likely to develop waterborne diseases.
Being sick less means fewer doctor visits and less money spent on medication. This means you save money on medical costs.
9. Be Exposed to Fewer Toxic Chemicals
We all want less exposure to toxic chemicals in our everyday lives.
We try to eat organically. We filter the water that we drink. We limit exposure to dangerous chemicals. We should do the same for our shower water.
10. It’s Simple to Install
Shower head filters are easy to install. All you have to do is purchase the filter piece. Many shower head filters are universal and can fit in most shower heads.
Once you install the filter, all you need to do is purchase replacement filter cartridges. We think the price you pay for the filter and for the replacement filter cartridges is just a small price to pay for better water quality.
Want to Learn More?
A shower head filter can mean less exposure to toxic chemicals, softer skin and hair, and an improvement in your overall health.
Want more tips and advice about shower head filters and improving your water quality? Read our blog!