If you are concerned about immediate reactions, there is one answer to; is tap water safe for bathing and showering. If you are concerned about your long-term health, there is another answer.Unless you are allergic to chlorine, which is a fairly common allergy, you should not have an immediate adverse reaction. If you have dry skin, eczema or acne, chlorine and other chemicals can aggravate those skin problems.People who have asthma or other respiratory problems should install a filter, because chlorine fumes are known to cause asthma attacks and aggravate other respiratory ailments.Even filtered water can cause dry skin, especially during the wintertime. People who are in relatively good health can counteract the dryness by using a good moisturizer.Everyone should be concerned about the long-term health problems that could be caused by exposure to the chemical fumes emitted during a hot shower. Chemicals like chlorine become airborne along with the steam.Scientists suggest that the risk has been underestimated, because the maximum safe levels were determined using cold water. The EPA would say “yes” to the question; is tap water safe for bathing and showering. At least, they would say that most people should not be concerned.Numerous studies have now shown that the amount of chemicals a person is normally exposed to through consumption and exposure during the bath or shower is enough to cause a significant increase in their long-term risk of cancer.The risk increases along with the level of exposure. For example, a person who regularly swims in a chlorinated pool and does not have home filters would have the greatest risk. Some researchers describe the risk as “unacceptable” for swimmers.There is no single chemical to consider when answering; is tap water safe for bathing and showering. The main concern is a group of chemicals called trihalomethanes or THMs. One of the THMs is chloroform gas, a known carcinogen.Researchers have said that most homes in the US have some degree of chloroform gas in the air. The presence of the gas is mainly attributed to hot showers, although some of the gas may be released when clothes and dishes are washed or when water is boiled for cooking.When choosing a showerhead filter, it is important to check the type of contaminants the filter will remove, as well as the degree of purification.Not all filters remove THMs.If you install a good filter, you can answer “yes” to; is tap water safe for bathing and showering. Otherwise, the answer has to be “no”.The risk is particularly great to our children, because they will be exposed for many years to come.
Many researchers have attempted to answer the question; is tap water safe for bathing and showering. Results have varied over the years, but the general consensus is that taking a shower in chlorinated water increases an individual’s lifetime risk of bladder and colorectal cancer due to THM exposure.Studies began in 1984. The concern was that the EPA had not included exposure to airborne chloroform (a THM), which at that time was only considered a “suspected” human carcinogen, in their risk-assessment calculations.Chloroform and other THMs are byproducts released when chlorine and other chemical disinfectants interact with bacteria and other living things in public water sources. In 1984, they could not answer the question; is tap water safe for bathing and showering. They could only suggest that further study was needed.Over the years, 11 more studies have been conducted in an effort to advise the public about their risk and the efforts they should and could make to protect themselves. The results of the studies were not always in agreement, but researchers did agree that there was a risk.In 1999, they said the primary risk was from ingestion; drinking. In 2000, they concluded that inhalation exposure from cooking and showering was equivalent to ingestion, thus carried an equivalent risk. Later in 2000, another study found that blood levels were “higher” after a 10 minute shower than they were after drinking a liter of chlorinated water.Again in 2000, they tried to answer a slightly different question. Is tap water safe for bathing and showering, when it comes to the build-up of chloroform gas and other THMs in the air of the bathroom and the rest of the house?You see, they know that inhalation of these gases is a problem. The gases are considered a work-place hazard in industrial settings where they exist. You can’t smell these gases. You can often smell chlorine, but not THMs.What researchers found is that there is a measurable level of chloroform gas in homes without a good air exchange rate. In other words, if you are not going to invest in a showerhead filter that removes THMs, leave your windows open.In 2007, the results of a three year long well-controlled case study were published. These researchers gave a more definitive answer to the question; is tap water safe for bathing and showering. Multiple areas of exposure were considered, including swimming in chlorinated water.They concluded that due to multiple exposures over the course of one’s lifetime, you are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer if your home has chlorinated water. They also concluded that the highest rate of exposure was in the shower.You can easily and inexpensively protect yourself with a good showerhead filter, but shop carefully. Most of them only reduce chlorine and do nothing about THMs.So, what do you think? Is tap water safe for bathing and showering, when you do not have an effective showerhead filter? I would have to say, No!