Did you know that relaxing bath or extra long hot shower to help you sleep better may be caused by a toxic chemical reaction in your water?

This is hard to soak in because millions of Americans take a hot bath for many reasons as a remedy to help them sleep, feel better when sick, or release anxiety.

This feeling may be enhanced by a TOXIC chemical reaction involving the chlorine treatment in city water.  Water contamination is one contribution to what is known as sick building syndrome (SBS).

Most people know to drink filtered water if they are going to drink from the tap but not everyone things about filtering their water that comes out of the shower head or the tub’s faucet.

What is this toxic chemical reaction?

Chlorine in our drinking water reacts with organic matter and algae to form chloroform, also known as TCM (you may have received a water notice in the mail when these are high).  This reaction is especially high during monsoon seasons or heavy rain when runoff is high.

Chloroform IS the scary toxin that can cause fatigue as it affects the central nervous system.

You may be more familiar with the scary use of chloroform in scary movies when the bad guy puts it on a napkin or washcloth to make his victims pass out!  That’s scary!

Chloroform had some medical uses in history.  It was used as an anesthetic starting in 1847.  The levels of chloroform could be controlled from lethargy to complete paralysis.

How can this toxic affect long-term health?

Our bodies can eventually rid itself of chloroform on its own if we are in good health but the more exposure, the harder to detox and the worse the health effects are.

A public health statement has analyzed long-term effects of chloroform exposure in rats and some studies were down to analyze human effects.

The statement states chloroform is a cancer-causing agent leading to colon, bladder, liver, and kidney cancer possibly with extended exposure.  The rats in the studies also experienced harmful reproductive effects.

Miscarriages occurred along with abnormal offspring demonstrated after chloroform exposure.  Male rats experienced abnormal sperm cells.  Studies have NOT been conducted on humans for reproductive effects.

Something to think about with these long-term effect studies, a rats life-span ranges from 1-2 years.  The length of these studies cannot possibly reflect the lifespan and long-term effects for humans who’s lifespan is closer to 79 years.

What other ways are people exposed to chloroform?

Chloroform is now being found in food, beverages and in the air.  It can also be found in tobacco products and be absorbed through the skin.  Swimming pools can increase exposure greatly due to the high amounts of chlorine used.

The higher level warnings from water companies will tell you it is still safe in your tap water and not be alarmed as levels in tap water only exceed EPA standards at certain times of the year.  We should be looking at the other ways we are exposed on a daily basis leading to hidden long-term exposure.

What can you do to limit exposure?

People take baths or showers just about every day of their lives.  Filtering tap water in all areas of your home could limit exposure exponentially.

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The easiest way to filter bath water is with a bath ball water filter.  The bath ball water filter removes the chlorine and other contaminants by just placing it on the bath faucet.  No plumbing work needed like other filter systems.  The filters do need to be changed just like most water filters and can be found here.

A showerhead filter can be installed to filter chlorine from the showerhead.  Those do take some plumbing skills but there are clear directions and is worth it!

Not only are you minimizing your chloroform exposure, but you are also minimizing other harmful contaminants and your hair and skin quality will improve as well.

The bath ball water filter is especially important for kids.  It’s easy to remove after the water is filled and bath water is like sitting in a swimming pool for the kids who only take baths.

It really is worth the money invested in filters in the long run.  Infertility rates are increasing along with birth defects on the astronomical rate.  Health studies do not capture the whole picture when it comes to exposure.  The fact that there are health effects proven, they are often underestimated due to the limitations of the studies involved.

Using a bath water filter or shower filter will help reduce the toxic effects of sick building syndrome.