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Filtering Chlorinated Shower Water


Exposure to Chlorine

Chlorinated bathing water may be much less beneficial than assumed. Chlorine can be less soluble in hot water, and when water is heated, it allows chlorine gas to escape into the air. In a small shower space, having limited fresh air, chlorine increases in concentration. Olfactory threshold for chlorine is approx. 3.5 ppm (parts per million). Lethal concentration occurs within a ten-minute exposure at about 600 ppm, suggesting that regularly taking hot showers using chlorinated water may pose a health risk.

Chlorine can cause pulmonary edema. Regular exposure to chlorine gas even at low levels, such as a normal showering may reduce lung oxygen transfer capacity, affecting athletes and those at risk to cardio vascular disease.

Reactions of chlorine and organic matter can cause disinfection by-products DBP, inducing reproductive and neurotoxic adverse effects in animal studies. Epidemiologic studies in humans have shown that exposure to DBPs increases risk of respiratory adverse effects and bladder cancer.

DBPs - Trihalomethanes (THMs), Haloacetic acids (HAAs), and Haloacetaldehydes (HALs) are present in chlorinated swimming pools.

Local municipal water may have added fluoride, potentially exposing a bather to fluoride induced neurotoxicity.

Skin Absorbtion Routes

Hydrated skin has greater absorption rates.

Temperature increase of water enhances skin absorption capacity proportionately.

Sunburn, wounds, abrasions to the outer layer of skin will lower its ability to act as a barrier against foreign substances. Psoriasis or eczema acts to lower the natural barrier of the outer skin layer, as do rashes, and dermatitis.

Skin absorption rates vary with the different regions of the body. Hand epidermis represents a relatively greater barrier to penetration than many other parts of the body, including the scalp, forehead, abdomen, ears, and underarms. Penetration on genital area, is estimated to be 100% as compared to 8.56% on forearm.

Routes of absorption include oral, nasal, cheeks, and mouth cavity, eye and ear areas. These routes have been underestimated in their ability to absorb contaminants during immersion in water. Inhalation serves as yet another route. In the case of swimming or bathing, the volatized chemicals are likely to gather near the surface of the water and are readily inhalable. In addition, water may be swallowed in these situations.

Absorption rates obtained from healthy adults will again tend to underestimate absorption for children or populations that are more sensitive.

How Filtration Removes Chlorine and Purifies Shower Water

KDF™ media filters chlorine, sulfur, smells, rust water, and traces of heavy metals.

In flowing water, KDF media acts similar to battery poles, copper becomes a cathode (negative) and zinc an anode (positive), creating a minute electrical current. Because free (pure) chlorine is a very unstable compound, chlorine molecules give up it's outermost electrons, bonding with copper and zinc elements, forming harmless, chelatable body salts (cupric and zinc chlorides).

KDF is a compound made of copper and zinc, two dissimilar elements in a granular form that operates by the law of opposites. It effectively removes up to 99% of free chlorine, varying amounts of iron oxides, hydrogen sulfide and small amounts of lead. Minute electrical currents causes lead and iron oxide removal by bonding with copper and zinc compounds, similar to electro-plating. Chlorine, iron and sulfur readily bond to KDF. Excess of these two elements in a water source, can reduce filter life span, resulting in frequent cartridge replacements. KDF media is an in-hospitable host for E. Coli and Pseudemonas bacteria, acting as a bacteriostatic growth inhibiter.


  1. Oxidative stress in chlorine-induced acute lung injury.
  2. Occurrence, origin, and toxicity of disinfection byproducts in chlorinated swimming pools: An overview.
  3. Fluoride on neuronal function occurs via cytoskeleton damage and decreased signal transmission.
  4. The role of skin absorption as a route of exposure for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in drinking water.

Wendy Wells

Author Wendy Wells is a licensed naturopathic physician in the state of Arizona.

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Updated: Jan 14 2018