Allergies and Health Issues
How water filters can help you with skin conditions like dry itchy skin, eczema, acne, rashes and more...
These types of skin conditions can be affected by mains tap water in two significant ways.
The first is the fact that Chlorine is added to tap water. The aim behind this is to kill bacteria in the water. This is a good idea and chlorine does this well. However while it’s a “friend” in that sense, it’s also an “enemy” because chlorine is a poison and we should ideally remove it from our water before we drink it or bathe in it.
See below for more on problems that can arise from Drinking chlorinated water. First let's focus on bathing:
Bathing in chlorine water is widely considered to make dry itchy skin worse. If the water is also “hard” ie full of limescale it can add to the problem.
What’s thought to happen is that chlorine, and the tiny scale beads, get into the cracks in the skin and irritate them causing further itching / scratching and so on.
There are several scientific studies to back this up - see Note 1 below - and many of our customers report dramatic improvements to their or their children’s skin conditions when they remove chlorine at the “point of use” with a water filter.
If you want to remove chlorine from your water supply here is how we can help you.
Bathing / Showering Water Filter Solutions:
A shower filter is great if you’re on a budget - but it only removes chlorine (not scale). Click here for full details
For baths and showers you could look at a whole house filter. This one removes chlorine only (not scale) Click here for full details
If you’re in a hard water / limescale area this filter will remove chlorine and de-scale the water Click here for full details
Other Health Issues Arising from Drinking Chlorine water
Asthma, Hayfever and more...
The purpose of chlorine is to kill microorganisms. The problem is that drinking chlorine can also kill the “good bacteria” in your gut ie your microbiota - the microorganisms that live in your gut. (Note 2).
It’s not just the chlorine but its many poisonous Trihalomethane (THM) by products. (More on these below).
A healthy gut full of good bacteria is increasingly seen as a significant factor in our wellbeing and a major part of our natural defence against disease and allergies. At the time of writing this is one of the hottest topics in science with a growing body of research. (Note 3).
Accordingly removing chlorine from your drinking water might improve “immune system” related allergies like asthma and even hay fever.
Best Drinking Water Solutions
Best Option: Reverse Osmosis
If you have concerns about allergies that are made worse by tap water, the best type of water filter for you is almost certainly a Reverse Osmosis water filter.
These remove almost all of the harmful contaminants that are thought to contribute to allergy problems, leaving you with the pure water that our bodies were designed to thrive on. See Problems that Reverse Osmosis Removes
The Reverse Osmosis unit usually fits neatly under your kitchen sink and a feeds special tap delivers purified water for your drinking and cooking needs. Click here for full details on our Reverse Osmosis filter
Budget Option: A Carbon Undersink Drinking Water Filter
This is a simpler but still a highly effective system. Even though it's more of a budget option it still puts you 1000 miles ahead of no filter at all.
Our high quality Carbon filters are very effective at removing Chlorine THMs and other contaminants. The difference with a Reverse Osmosis filter is that the latter will remove a higher percentage of the contaminants eg often 99% whereas a carbon filter might remove 90% (Please note; this is simply an example).
An RO will also perform at 100% capacity for the 6 month life of the filter cartridges whereas the simpler carbon filter, while staying highly effective, will decline in performance as the filter wears out. Click here for full details on our Carbon Undersink Drinking Water Filter
Skin Absorption and Inhalation: Why you need to consider treating ALL your water
As discussed above, bathing in chlorine water can be bad for skin conditions. However it can also result in you absorbing a surprisingly large amount of chlorine and its even more poisonous THM by-products. For example:
Showering in chlorine water can create an aerosol effect for the chlorine and THMs which you breathe in as a gas, irritating your lungs, eyes and throat. But the contaminants also enter deeeper into your body.
"A shower cubicle can be considered an exposure chamber. Exposure to volatile contaminants absorbed via the lung would be about double the same amount from drinking water." The EPA - the US Government's environmental agency
Bathing in warm water opens your skin pores and helps you absorb chlorine and the THMs. Chemicals absorbed through the skin are thought to be up to ten times more potent than those ingested orally because they go directly to your tissues.
Even dishwashers or washing machines can be an issue. The heated air from the detergent and chlorinated tap water can be released into the air when you open the door after the washing cycle, adding to your indoor pollution.
So bear in mind you might also want to remove chlorine from your entire house supply.
More on Chlorine and Trihalomethanes (THMs)
Some see ingesting chlorine as a relatively minor health issue because it is broken down in your body to become chloride.
But a significant problem is that chlorine reacts with organic matter in mains water to form a variety of chemicals known as Chlorination Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) (Note 4)
The most significant of these are Trihalomethanes (THMs) (See note 5) which include several common forms. The four main ones are
These are thought to be a possible cause of many issues including
Immune System Damage
Reproductive Problems (Lower Sperm counts. Spina Bifida...)
.. and more
THMs are known to be a Group B carcinogen ie they’ve been proven to cause cancer in tests on laboratory animals. (Note 7).
THMS are also thought to be linked to reproductive problems. (Note 7).
DBPs have also been linked to damaging effects to heart, lung, kidney and central nervous system and to increase the risk of bladder and rectal cancers.
While over 600 DBPs have been discovered in the past thirty years, the US Environmental Protection Agency officially estimates that less than half of all chlorinated DBPs have been identified.
There has been a lot more written about this. Go ahead and Google for the scientific studies. Bear in mind that prevention is better than the cure.
If you can afford it, removing all the chlorine coming into your home might be a wise move to protect yourself and your family.
Here are the whole of house water filtration solutions we offer. There are many others on the market that you can compare them with.
Install a high-quality water filter on all your taps - even those in your shower or bath”. Richard Cohen, M.D