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Toxic Showers and Baths - Citizens Concemed About Chloramine (CCAC)

Send an email to CCAC

Toxic Showers and Baths

Mission Statement

'You Get More Toxic Exposure
From TakingA Shower Than From
Drinking The Same Water."

The CCAC Flier
CCAC Overview

Chloramine Facts

.... Summary statement from a recent study at a major U.S. University
and as reported in Scienee News, vol. go.

Toxic Showers and

Aururttls of

Mortuchlorartrirrr: C:tsuous'lrjchloruulint:

Effects on the
Effects on

to Report on


Health Studies
on Chloramine

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CCAC History and


Photo Gallery of
Events and

Photo Gallery


Research Studies
and Links

Article Archive
and Links
Letter Archive
What You Can Do
to Help

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Diagram adapted from the Weekly Newsmagazrne of Science,

ChemistryVOl r3o no. rz
Pages t77-t9z
Toxic showers and baths


a new study, researcher Julian Andelman, of the University of
Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, the NationalAcademy of
Sciences has shown that volatile chemicals present in many municipal

drinking water supplies are especially toxic to people when they are
exposed to them when bathing or showering. ". . .the major health

CCAC Literature

threat posed by these water pollutants is far more likely to be from
their inhalation as air pollutants in the home, according to preliminary

CCAC Board

data from a studyAndelman and his colleagues have just reported."

CCAC Contacts


"In the past, he says, inhalation exposure to water pollutants has
largely been ignored." His data indicates that hot showers can liberate
between 50 to 80 percent of the dissolved chemicals into the air.

http://www. chloramine. org/toxicshowersandbaths. htm



Writing Letters
to the Editor

Toxic Showers and Baths - Citizens Concemed About Chloramine (CCAC)

Emissions from hot baths are half as high. "(One reason, explains

Andelman, is that because water droplets dispersed by a shower head
have a larger surface-to volume ratio than water streaming into a bath,
more of the volatiles can vaporize out)."

It is interesting to note that chloramine actually exists in three forms:
monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine. The three forms
constantly and rapidly shift from one form to another. "The different
volatilities of the chloramines result in substantial differences in the
rates of release from water: di- and tri-chloramine are released -g and
3oo times faster than monochloramine, respectively." (See page g of
Chemicals in Drinking Water: Chloramine (pDF, t78

KB),by Scottish

Centrefor Infection and Enuironmental Health, Alternate source:
click here.) These chemicals vaporize easily out of the water that is
heated and aerosolized. All three forms are respiratory irritants, with

trichloramine being the most toxic.
Andelman points out that.. . "Although showering can be an intense
source of residential exposure to water pollutants, . . . it is far from the
only important source. Andelman notes that only about 5 of the 5o to
7o gallons of water used daily by the average American goes


showers. Much of the rest is used by dishwashing and laundering. "

"Though actual doses will depend on many factors--especially the level
of water contamination--the study does offer clues for limiting
exposure. Cold showers can reduce the vaporization of dissolved
volatile chemicals by 5o percent, Andelman says. And short showers

help, since each doubling in shower time quadruples the dose from
accumulating gases. Finally, to limit the spread of released gases into
the rest of the home, he suggests closing the bathroom door while

bathing and exhausting the room air outdoors."
Science News, Vol. r3o no. 12, pgs.77Z-192, cited by CCAC in this



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