Showering is a part of daily hygienic routine of most people. Some shower once a day, some several times a day, some skip a day or two, and there are also those who only shower on weekends.
When people think of dangers lurking in the shower, they mostly think of falling down, which can cause serious injuries. Some may even think of accidental electrocution, which may occur if an electronic device is accidentally dropped in the tub when the water is on. However, only few think of dangers that come from the water itself.
What makes water used for showering dangerous is the amount of chlorine in it. Chlorine can cause serious health problems and it should not be taken lightly.
Dangers of chlorinated water
Skin is the body’s largest organ. During ten minutes of showering, it absorbs more chlorine than the amount that would be ingested by drinking eight glasses of that same water.
Chlorine is added to municipal tap water as a disinfectant, because it kills fungi, bacteria and parasites and makes the water safe in that sense. However, this chemical affects blood vessels and hardens arteries, destroys protein in the body, causes sinus problems, irritates and dries the skin and aggravates any present respiratory problems like asthma.
Chlorinated water has been proven to cause 9% of all bladder cancer cases, as well as 15 percent of colorectal cancer in the United States.
The problem with chlorine is that it is not easily detected without laboratory analysis, so no one can be sure as to how high is the concentration of chlorine in their tap water, the best way is to check with local authorities.
When chlorine is added to the water, it reacts in contact with organic materials already present. This results in different, and dangerous, by-products.
One of the by-products of water chlorination is chloroform. This agent is considered to be carcinogenic. It promotes the formation of free radicals, which are responsible for premature cell aging, it causes mutation of normal cells and oxidation of cholesterol. Chloroform, which was once used as an anesthetic, has been discontinued from medical practice because it has been proven to be carcinogenic.
Dichloro-acetic acid is another dangerous by-product. It interferes with cholesterol metabolism and causes liver cancer in laboratory animals.
MX, another chlorinated acid, is believed to cause genetic mutations and cancer. All the tests on chlorinated tap water have determined the presence of this acid in it.