Chlorine and Chloramine
To better appreciate the power of using a vitamin as the dechlorination agent in the Vitashower Shower Filter, the hazards in our water supplies must be better understood. These dangers are real and should not be overlooked or accepted by the general public.
Chlorine is universally used to chemically disinfect public water systems because of its toxic effect on harmful germs, bacteria and disease-causing organisms. As defined above, chlorine is a toxic gas. With greater exposure to toxic chlorine contained in water supplies, the potential health dangers increase.
During the bathing process, chlorine evaporates out of the water and is inhaled. This toxic gas can also spread through the house and be inhaled by others. Some reports claim that as much chlorine enters the body by inhaling steamy chlorinated shower vapors or through the open pores of the skin as that which enters the body by drinking chlorinated water during the entire day. This increased exposure to the
adverse effects of chlorine by household residents can be from 6 to 100 times more than medically recommended.
Chlorine also attacks the skin and skin oils, creating a dermal drying effect. Shower water can also cause or worsen skin irritations and rashes as well as drying the skin. Showering and bathing in chlorinated water will also result in the breakage of hair shafts. Because chlorine is absorbed into the body through the skin, additional physical problems can ensue. Chlorinated water can also irritate eyes, leaving them red, itchy and burning. Inhaling the toxic steam can aggravate the sinuses and lungs. Chloramine, although a more stable compound, contains chlorine and ammonia and is also used to control bacteria in water systems. Its harmful effects are similar to chlorine.
Traditional Shower Filter Technologies
Activated carbon filtration (AC) is effective in reducing certain organic chemicals and chlorine in cold water. Chlorine is attracted to and held (absorbed) into the
surface of the carbon particles. However, the efficiency of absorption is quickly nullified when the water becomes warm. The lifetime of an activated carbon shower filter is very short. An activated carbon shower filter gets clogged very quickly by the dirt it is meant to stop. As soon as that happens, it immediately starts to supply dirty water.
KDF, another widely used dechlorination media, is comprised of copper and zinc. It removes free chlorine by reversing the electrochemical process that originally separated the chlorine from sodium in a brine solution. It can't, however, remove chloramines and, its efficiency depends on water temperature, it doesn't work well in cold water.
There are several other limitations using KDF as a de-chlorinating agent. KDF shower filters are also affected by water pressure. When the water pressure is not high enough, water simply can't pass through the KDF powders. The major problem of KDF shower filters is that the lifetime of the filter depends on the quality of the water passing through it. This is truly a catch-22. When the quality of the water is bad, that's when we most need a shower filter. The dirt a KDF filter removes from the water
quickly covers the surface of the KDF, and that in turn makes the filter ineffective very quickly.
Other shower filter manufacturers use sulfur-based compounds such as calcium sulfite or sodium sulfite (or sulfate) as dechlorinating agents. These sulfur-based compounds can be toxic to humans. The addition of excess sulfite and sulfate chemicals to our water supplies has always been a concern.
Advantages of Vitamin over Traditional Technologies
Vitamin C dechlorination has a lengthy history. It has been used in EPA and APHA methods for the dechlorination of lab samples. In the medical industry, it is the standard for critical applications such as dialysis, where the introduction of chlorinated water or toxic chemical would be catastrophic. Breeders of rare fish also choose this method of dechlorination. Most recently, Vitamin dechlorination is being used in the treatment of water. It fully neutralizes both chlorine and chloramines.
There are several powerful arguments for using Vitamin C instead of KDF, activated carbon or sulfur-based compounds as dechlorination agents. Vitashower utilizes ascorbic acid chemistry for dechlorination. It is made with an essential vitamin for humans and many animals, known to boost the immune system, improve the condition of human skin and hair. It is also the safest and least toxic of dechlorination agents.
Research by the US Environmental Protection Agency found that L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) reacts rapidly and stoichiometrically with active chlorine and has limited interactions with disinfection byproducts. They found no interference from L-ascorbic acid or its oxidation product (dehydroascorbic acid) in mutagenicity assays of
chlorinated NOM using Salmonella typhimurium TA100, with or without metabolic activation.
*Urbansky ET, Freeman DM, Rubio FJ, JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING 2 (3): 253-256 2000, United States Environmental Protection Agency(US EPA), Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Water Supply and Water Resources Division, 26 W Martin Luther King Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45268 USA. Click Research to read abstract of the papers or visit http://www.vita-d-chlor.com/General.htm for more information.
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