If your wellness routine regularly involves bathing to detoxify via the skin, it is very important to use filtered bathwater!
In fact, if you don’t use filtered water for this purpose, I would suggest that the health benefits of the bath itself are greatly reduced.
You might even be doing more harm than good in some cases.
The reason filtered bathwater is so important is because significant chlorine exposure can occur using municipal tap water while bathing or even a quick shower.
It is surprising that many people who are careful to drink only filtered water think nothing of soaking or showering in city water.
Chlorine Exposure via Bath and Shower
This is problematic because outgassed chlorine absorption from tap water via inhalation and the skin is actually worse than ingesting it.
Did you know that taking a seven-minute shower in treated city water exposes a person to MORE chlorine than by drinking a gallon of tap water? (1)
Bathing in the same water would no doubt produce similar or worse results because exposure is longer. Pool water would also be worse due to the higher levels of chlorine.
The absorption of chlorine into the bloodstream happens in two ways:
- Chlorine enters the lungs is in the form of chloroform, a carcinogen, and chlorite, a byproduct of chlorine dioxide. These forms of chlorine hit your bloodstream instantly before they have a chance to be removed by your organs of detoxification.
- The tap water disinfection by-products go directly into the bloodstream through your skin.
Skin absorption of chlorine and its by-products increases in direct proportion with the temperature of the water. This is due to the opening of the pores of the skin in hot water…ironically, exactly what you want when you are in the bath for release of toxins!
Chlorine Decimates Gut AND Skin Probiotics
According to Dr. Zoltan P. Rona, M.D., chlorinated water exposure destroys most strains of friendly intestinal flora, known as probiotics (2).
Destruction of these beneficial microbes in the gut is bad enough once the chlorine gets loose in the bloodstream from inhalation or absorption.
But, the chlorine also destroys the probiotics on the skin as well. This can contribute to the propensity for rashes like eczema and other skin ailments. It can also exacerbate skin problems that are already present.
How can this be?
Remember that chlorine is a broad-spectrum disinfectant. This means that it kills microbes indiscriminately…whether they are pathogenic OR beneficial.
Chlorine Removal Options
Once you realize the danger of bathing in chlorinated tap water, the question is, how to remove it?
The best method is to invest in a quality whole house water system. This means you will get safe, clean, filtered water from every tap in the house.
The next best approach is to filter at the source. A kitchen water filter is most important, of course, where water is used for cooking and drinking.
The next most important is the bathroom tub and shower.
Filtered Bathwater (budget options)
Options for filtering water for the bath and shower are quite inexpensive as it turns out. Here are your options.
- Bath Dechlorinator: This nifty gadget just needs to be swished around for 5 to 8 minutes before you get in the bath to remove the chlorine! Take it with you when you travel. Handy to take to the birthing center or hospital if you are planning a water birth as well. One ball lasts for at least 200 baths.
- Shower Dechlorinator: There are multiple options for filtering shower water. I prefer this shower filter because it combines eco-consciousness with testing and certification by the Water Quality Association (lasts for 30,000 gallons).
In summary, water filters aren’t just for drinking and cooking purposes. It is also very important to filter water that comes into contact with your skin because chlorine can get into the bloodstream quite effectively during bathing and showering.