Is Chlorine bad?

Is Chlorine bad?

Ishani Appaya

Short answer - chlorine is good and bad :)

Almost every single water treatment plant will use a chlorine based disinfectant. And more often than not, water supply from your city / municipality administration will have excess chlorine in it.

Chlorine has been a huge contributor in controlling infections & pandemics - especially the water-borne ones for more than a century now. It does remove a lot of bacteria and viruses and hence it is clearly one of the best disinfectants known to man.

But - it can cause problems to your hair & skin. Read on.

Here’s what you need to know & do!

If you constantly get a whiff of “pool-water” like smell in your shower - you aren’t imagining it!

Water chlorination is an extremely common process done by almost every city’s water supply department  to kill bacteria, viruses and other small microbes that are present in water sourced from lakes and reservoirs, that finally makes the long journey to your home tap.. While it is true that chlorine is often also added to our drinking water, and ingestion in small quantities is not hazardous, chlorine in water does have harmful health effects.

How much Chlorine is likely to be in your bath water?

To effectively kill water-borne bacteria, viruses and microbial pathogens the recommended concentration of available chlorine for routine disinfection is 1000 ppm as this concentration has been shown to be effective against the majority of microbial pathogens. But, this concentration of Chlorine is not ideal for your skin & hair health.

What Chlorine does to your hair & skin

How do you feel after an hour in the pool? Red, burning eyes, dry skin and frizzy hair sound familiar?

A 15-minute shower can absorb 40% more chlorine into your body than drinking 2 litres of the same water! This is because when you shower, heat opens your pores and allows the chlorine to seep into your skin – a process known as dermal absorption.    

Chlorine has a drying effect on the outer layer of your skin; it opens up your pores and the hypochlorous acid (a weak acid that forms when chlorine dissolves in water) begins to strip the natural oils from your skin making it dry, flakey and prone to skin rashes and diseases.

When it comes to your drinking water, RO or reverse - osmosis filters incorporate carbon block filters that remove up to 98% levels of chlorine in the water. 

Removing Chlorine from your bath water

For your bath water, the option is to use point-of-use filters like Shower or Tap filters. WaterScience filters remove chlorine through a process called adsorption. The cartridges inside the products contain a specific form of carbon that has been treated in a way that it attracts chlorine. As the unfiltered water passes through the cartridge, chlorine molecules mix with the tiny carbon molecules, eliminating them from the water through this process called adsorption

If you are wondering about TDS levels, they do not necessarily reduce but instead become harmless substances for our hair and body that wash off easily, without affecting the hair or skin.