Chlorine and Your Shower

Taking long, hot showers is a health risk, according to research presented last week in Anaheim, California, at 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. House holders can receive 6 to 100 times more of the chemical by breathing the air around showers and baths than they would by drinking the water. New Scientist, 18 September 1986
Ian Anderson

Studies indicate the suspect chemicals can also be inhaled and absorbed through the skin during showering and bathing.
Ironically, even the Chlorine widely used to disinfect water produces Carcinogenic traces.
Though 7 out of 10 Americans drink chlorinated water, its safety over the long term is uncertain.
Drinking chlorinated water may as much as double the risk of the Bladder Cancer, which strikes 40,000 people a year.
U.S. News & World Report, July 29, 1991
Is Your Water Safe—The Dangerous State of Your Water

A long, hot shower can be dangerous. The toxic chemicals are inhaled in high concentrations.
Bottom Line, August ’87
Dr. John Andelman, Ph.D.

On one hand, chlorination has freed civilization from the constant dangers of waterborne epidemics. On the other hand in the mid-70s scientists discovered that chlorination could create carcinogens in water.

80% of the population drinks chlorinated water.

There was a higher incidence of cancer of the esophagus, rectum, breast, and larynx and of Hodgkins Disease among those drinking chlorinated surface waters.
Volatile organics can evaporate from water in a shower or bath.
Conservative calculations indicate that inhalation exposures can be as significant as exposure from drinking the water, that is, one can be exposed to just as much by inhalation during a shower as by drinking 2 liters of water a day.
People who shower frequently could be exposed through ingestion, inhalation and/or dermal absorption.
Is Your Water Safe To Drink?
Consumer Reports Books

Skin absorption of contaminant has been underestimated and ingestion may not constitute the sole or even primary route of exposure.
American Journal Of Public Health
Dr. Halina Brown

Showering is suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform in nearly every home because of the chlorine in the water.
Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Lance Wallace

A Professor of Water Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh claims that exposure to vaporized chemicals in the water supplies through showering, bathing, and inhalation is 100 times greater than through drinking the water.

As chlorine is added to kill pathogenic microorganisms, the highly reactive chlorine combines with fatty acids and carbon fragments to form a variety of toxic compounds, which comprise about 30% of the chlorination by-products.

During the mid-1970s monitoring efforts began to identify widespread toxic contamination of the nation’s drinking water supplies, epidemiological studies began to suggest a link between ingestion of toxic chemicals in the water and elevated cancer mortality risks. Since those studies were completed a variety of additional studies have strengthened the statistical connection between consumption of toxins in water and elevated cancer risks. Moreover, the basic concern has been heightened by other research discoveries.

The Nader Report – Troubled Waters On Tap
Center for Study of Responsive Law

The National Academy of Sciences estimate that 200 to 1000 people die in the United States each year from cancers caused by ingesting the contaminants in water. The major health threat posed by these pollutants is far more likely to be from their inhalation as air pollutants. The reason that emissions are high is that because water droplets dispersed by the shower head have a larger surface-to-value ratio than water streaming into the bath.
Science News, Volume 130
Janet Raloff

The cause of atherosclerosis and resulting heart attacks and strokes is none other than the ubiquitous chlorine in our drinking water.
Dr. J.M. Price, M.D.

In the vast majority of cases where germ-free water is required whether for public supply, or in the swimming pool, the process of disinfection will involve the use of chlorine in one form or another.
Chemistry And Control Of Modern Chlorination
Dr. A.T. Palin, Ph.D., (O.B.E.)

Chlorine gas was despicably used during WWI. When the war was over, the use of chlorine was diverted to poisoning germs in our drinking water. All water supplies throughout the country were chlorinated. The combination of chlorine (when in drinking water) and animal fats results in atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and death.
Water Can Undermine Your Health
Dr. N.W. Walker, D.S.