The shower filter industry is a relatively small but certainly a highly competitive one. Most people understand the need to filter drinking water, but never think twice about bathing in unfiltered tap water. The truth of the matter is, your body has the potential to absorb more waterborne contaminants, such as chlorine and chloramines, during an average 10 minute shower than you would by drinking unfiltered tap water throughout the entire day.
During a warm shower, the pores in our skin begin to open up and become highly absorbent, much like a sponge. Many contaminants, such as chlorine, become extremely unstable in hot water and immediately evaporate out of the water allowing chlorine vapors to also be inhaled directly into our lungs. Although the chlorine levels in our showers can vary greatly throughout the day, one thing is certain. There is always chlorine present in shower water that is maintained by a municipal water supply. Repeated exposure to high concentrations of chlorine has been linked by some scientific studies to cases of miscarriage and certain types of cancer in most countries that disinfect their water supplies with chlorine. In the US, the EPA has recently recommended that all municipal water supplies change their disinfectant from free chlorine to chloramine; a combination of free chlorine and ammonia.
One of the reasons for this change is based on recent studies that claim the use of free chlorine can generate what are known as THMs or Trihalomethanes. THMs are created when free chlorine comes in contact with organic material present in the water supply. It is believed that higher levels of THMs are what actually increase the risks of cancer and miscarriages in humans. The use of chloramine may indeed reduce the overall level of THMs in our water, but it must be used in much higher concentrations to be as effective a pure chlorine. Whether chloramine is any safer than free chlorine is the subject of much debate that will require many years of research. Unfortunately, no one knows the long term effects of chloramine on the human body. After all, they’ve been telling us free chlorine was completely safe for the last 100 years.
Removing Chlorine From Shower Water – Fact or Fiction?
There are dozens of different types and brands of shower filters available on the market today. The vast majority of these shower filters rely on what is known as KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) as a means of reducing free chlorine. There are others that combine KDF with some type of activated charcoal (AC) or similar type of supplementary medium. An alternative method of removing both free and combined chlorine involves the use of Vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid/sodium ascorbate) in a shower filtration device. This form of dechlorination has been used for many years by the EPA to dechlorinate waste water prior to reintroduction into the environment. Although more expensive, Vitamin C dechlorination produces nearly perfect results without a negative impact on the environment or wildlife. Vitamin C dechlorination has also been used for some time to dechlorinate lab samples and has even been used to dechlorinate water for kidney dialysis patients. Vitamin C dechlorination is all natural, instantaneous and provides near perfect results.
KDF and/or AC are less than perfect choices for a shower filter for the following reasons and are shown italicized. Arguments for the use of a Vitamin C type shower filter are listed directly below them in bold print.
KDF shower filters can only remove free chlorine and its effectiveness is directly related to how long the media stays in contact with the chlorine. Longer contact times simply cannot occur within a shower filter, limiting its overall effectiveness
Vitamin C completely neutralizes both free chlorine & chloramines instantly upon contact
KDF/AC filters have only been proven to remove free chlorine under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. KDF has never been proven to remove or even reduce heavy metals, VOCs, THMs, bacteria or any other synthetic chemicals when used within shower filtration device. Less than perfect free chlorine removal is all you should expect
Vitamin C shower filters are designed to neutralize chlorine and most chlorinated byproducts though simple chemistry. We invite you to perform your own independent tests in your home
Activated carbon filters have been known to promote bacterial growth in a shower filter creating additional health concerns over time. Contrary to popular belief, KDF has never been proven to prevent or even retard bacterial growth in a shower filter
Vitamin C does not promote the growth of bacteria, algae or fungi. The slightly acidic environment within a Vitamin C shower filter discourages the growth of bacteria. This is why cranberry juice or Vitamin C supplements are often prescribed to help speed recovery from bladder & kidney infections by creating an inhospitable environment for the invading organisms
KDF filters are only intended to work with hot water. Carbon filters are only intended to work with cold water & degrade very quickly in fast moving hot water. The combination of the two within a shower filter makes little sense. Shower water must reach optimal temperatures (above 84 degrees) before any protection is observed with KDF, exposing you to unnecessary chlorine vapors
Vitamin C shower filters are effective with all water temperatures; hot or cold and provide complete protection from chlorine & chloramines from the moment it is turned on until the water is turned off
Carbon filters tend to clog quickly reducing the overall flow of water during your shower forcing you to prematurely replace the entire filter cartridge. This quickly becomes very expensive and inconvenient
Vitamin C shower filters perform equally well with any water pressure, low or high and remains constant over the lifetime of the filter
KDF is a metal alloy consisting of copper & zinc which can be released into your shower water and be absorbed by your skin or inhaled into your lungs. The effects of this on the human body are as of yet unknown. High levels of copper, not chlorine, in water has been found to be responsible for “green hair” or “swimmers hair” in some people
Vitamin C is an all natural medium that’s safe for the entire family. There are no known adverse side effects associated with Vitamin C dechlorination
KDF has the potential to create an unusually high number of free radicals through the same process that is uses to neutralize free chlorine. In the absence of free chlorine, the zinc and copper radicals will attempt to equalize themselves by stealing electrons as soon as possible creating a free radical chain reaction within the body’s cells
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants known to man with numerous proven health benefits. It is known for its ability to protect the body from invading free radicals
Many KDF shower filters require routine backwashing maintenance to flush out impurities. This wastes several gallons of unusable hot water during each backwash cycle
Vitamin C shower filters require no complicated backwashing procedure. It will perform at optimum levels right up until it needs to be replaced
KDF filters take up to a week or more to produce any noticeable results. Any improvements are directly related to the reduction of free chlorine and nothing more. Most popular KDF/Charcoal shower filters are nothing more than very expensive water deodorizers providing very little protection from chlorinated byproducts
It only takes one shower to know a Vitamin C shower filter is working
KDF/Charcoal media was never intended to be used in a shower filter application. This combination performs very well with slow moving drinking water filters; however, no evidence exists to support many of the outrageous claims being made by some unscrupulous sellers
The Vitamin C Shower Filter is the clear choice for the 21st century