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Chlorine & Water

Chlorinated Water and Its Effects on Hair and Skin

United States residents come in regular contact with chlorinated water, not only in swimming pools but also inside their homes. Chlorine is added in drinking & bathing water in order to kill bacteria. However, this little blessing can have big health risks associated with it, especially when used consistently over a long period of time.

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is a disinfectant chemical, highly corrosive and toxic in nature, often used as an added aid to public supplies of water. This is done in order to kill the harmful organisms in water such as bacteria, algae and mold. It was not until the 18th century that chlorine was added to public water reservoirs to kill the various widespread epidemics such as cholera and typhoid. When we drink chlorinated water we also ingesting the chlorine present in it. Similarly, when we take a shower with chlorinated water, it gets absorbed into our body through the open pores of our skin. Chlorine combines with natural elements such as vegetation to produce chlorine by-products such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and MX. Constant exposure to chlorine and/or its by-products can be detrimental for human skin, hair and bodily systems.

Chlorine & Skin

What Does Chlorine Do To Your Skin?

When chlorinated water comes in contact with our skin, it damages the natural balance of oils and minerals in our skin cells. This skin fluid imbalance makes the cells dry out and eventually die. As a result of this chlorine induced dryness, the skin often becomes itchy and/or flaky and loses its natural luster. Another often reported problem is inflammation that causes irritation and blisters on skin, especially among those with a sensitive skin.

Chlorine & Hair

How does Chlorine damage your hair?

Bathing or showering with chlorinated water leads to a number of hair related problems. First of all, chlorine burns the end of the hair shaft resulting in blunt hair shaft ends. Chlorinated water promotes dryness in hair, which results in a severe split ends problem upon regular usage. Overall dryness in hair may also lead to significant hair breakage from the middle of the shaft as well as hair loss. This happens due to the fact that chlorine manages to break down the hair proteins, making the hair weaker, brittle and prone to breakage.

Health Risks

What are Some Dangers That Chlorine Poses to Health?

Research studies have shown a high risk of lung diseases among those who are exposed to high chlorine levels. Moreover, chlorine by-products are considered as carcinogens and have been proven to cause liver and kidney cancer among animals in laboratory settings. Also, lab tests have confirmed that chloroform (a form of THM) caused reproductive issues such as miscarriages as well as birth defects among tested animals.

Staying Safe

How Can You Stay Safe From These Chlorine Hazards?

In order to minimize your exposure to chlorine and thus avoid the adverse effects, always avoid drinking unfiltered tap water. Use a good filter to reduce the chlorine in your drinking water. Not only that, but you should also use whole house filters or shower filters to avoid the absorption of chlorine that may occur during bathing with chlorinated water. A great water filtration system is your best bet against the hazards of chlorine present in drinking and bathing water!